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Letter

Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Awareness Week will be observed this year the week of April 14-20 to commemorate Anne Sullivan’s birthday. Sullivan was born on April 14, 1866, and was a pioneer of the vision rehabilitation profession. As a teacher, she worked closely with Helen Keller to develop the skills Keller would later use as an international lecturer and advocate for individuals with vision and hearing loss.

Sullivan, a graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind, began working with 7-year-old Keller in 1887 as a home teacher, the original occupational title for the profession now called vision rehabilitation therapist (VRT). Just as in Sullivan’s career, today’s VRTs often travel to their client’s homes or workplaces for training.

Today’s VRTs most often hold a master’s level education, and additional national certification to meet established professional standards. VRTs have provided the primary rehabilitation skills training for individuals experiencing blindness or vision loss.

Most often, clients are adults who have experienced an acquired vision loss through diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetes, etc. Clients may call to schedule an appointment. VRT services are provided at no out-of-pocket cost. For more information visit, https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd/blvs/index.

Diane Gray,

certified vision

rehabilitation therapist,

Missoula

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