The Older Individuals Who are Blind – Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC) regularly hosts live forums to allow professionals to converse with designated experts on a specific topic through comments posted on our Community of Practice. This medium enables professionals to engage with each other and to provide insights that are stored for future reference.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, OIB-TAC hosted a live forum on remote training last week. Since most training for people with visual impairment occurs face-to-face (following best practice), many professionals are searching for new procedures to offer training during quarantines and physical distancing.
Sylvia Stinson-Perez and Kendra Farrow, both Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, facilitated discussions on working remotely, providing services and training in a remote environment, and identifying helpful resources. Ed Hanes served as an expert from Hadley and shared many virtual resources.
Discussions on the forum included comforting the anxiety of consumers, completing assessments over the phone, assisting consumers with new tools, and practicing self-care as a professional. Farrow, research and training associate, felt that this forum illustrated “the enormous need for creative ideas and information to continue serving older blind consumers in this new reality.”
Farrow hopes that this forum serves as a place where professionals can “communicate what is working well and provide support to each other during this transition.” The OIB-TAC team will continue to monitor the forum to add additional comments and answers to professionals’ questions throughout the week. Visit the OIB-TAC resources page for more resources on remote training including:
- Tips for Remote Training
- Telephone Support and Activity Groups
Stinson-Perez, OIB-TAC Project Director, believes that “people who work with individuals with visual impairments have always had to be adaptable and innovative as every individual has unique needs and goals” She continued, “now, more than ever, we need to be adaptable and innovative because our consumers - especially those who are older blind - need us.”
The OIB-TAC is organizing a video webinar to continue the discussion from the live forum. If you need additional training for your state or agency, email email@example.com.