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9/5/2000

NIH Launches Low Vision Education Program

Katherine M. Bennett

People with low vision often feel isolated and have a lower quality of life than their higher-functioning peers, according to officials with the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health. To provide more support, the NEI is launching a new education program aimed at seniors and others with low vision. "The health of people with low vision may be compromised when they cannot recognize medications or read labels or nutritional information on food packages," said NEI Director Carl Kupfer, M.D. Low vision is broadly defined as a visual impairment, not corrected by standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery, which interferes with the ability to perform everyday activities. To share this information with your vision-impaired patients, call 1-877-LOWVISION. For a list of low-vision resources, go to www.nei.nih.gov/professionals.htm.