Overview of Lighthouse Guild’s Staff Education Program
The staff education program series is ideal for agencies that support life-long learning for their staff. It can be used as an onboarding tool, and/or to augment existing staff training efforts geared toward effective care and services to all clients. The programs are designed to increase staff knowledge about vision impairment, vision rehabilitation and vision technology, etc., and to strengthen skills in assisting and communicating with clients, visitors, and other staff with vision loss.
The program series is designed to be appropriate for ALL vision agency staff, including building maintenance and security staff, reception and clerical staff, direct care clinical and rehabilitation service providers, and administrators. For some staff the information may be totally new, while for others such as clinical staff, some of the programs might offer more of a positive review and reinforcement.
- Programs are online, self-paced, include short non-graded knowledge checks, and take an average of 20 minutes each to complete.
- Program content includes a mix of text, audio narration, photographs, graphics, video clips, and supplemental resources on the topic.
- Programs are 508 compliant for learners who are visually impaired.
Description of Programs
- Vision Technology
This program explores the world of vision technology and shows the difference technology can make in the lives of people with vision impairment. A variety of technologies are discussed and demonstrated including examples of technology designed to enhance existing vision, replace the function of vision in daily activities, restore lost vision, and test or monitor vision. This program makes staff aware of the range of emerging technologies that are potential options for people with vision impairment.
- Adaptive and Accessible Technology for People with Vision Impairment
This program reviews a variety of adaptive and accessible technologies and demonstrates how they are used. This include specialized computer devices and software, accessibility options in smartphones and tablets, and the growing ranges of software applications and smart home technologies that are enabling people with vision impairment to independently complete tasks that would otherwise require assistance from a sighted person. This will help staff understand and recognize technology options for clients with vision impairment.
- Assisting People Who Are Visually Impaired
This program identifies situations where a person who is visually impaired may want assistance from another person, demonstrates the proper way to offer assistance and walk with a person with vision impairment, and describes strategies for effective communication, including descriptive talking. This will strengthen staff skill and confidence to assist and communicate with clients, visitors, and any person in the community with vision impairment who looks like they may need assistance.
- Common Causes of Vision Impairment in Adults
This program describes vision-threatening eye diseases and conditions most common in adults, including their symptoms, causes and impact on vision. It also reviews the basic process of sight and discusses approaches for avoiding preventable vision loss and maintaining good eye health. This program will give staff a better understanding of, and ability to discuss the types of conditions that lead to vision impairment, as well as the importance of early detection and treatment to avoid vision loss.
- Low Vision Care and Services: Vision Rehabilitation
This program describes vision rehabilitation services and illustrates the impact vision rehabilitation has in the lives of people with vision impairment. The low vision exam, assistive devices, rehabilitation for daily activities, orientation and mobility instruction, and behavioral health services are discussed. Case studies are used to highlight how vision rehabilitation helps people with vision impairment to make the most of their remaining vision and maximize independence in daily activities. This program will improve staff knowledge about the range and benefits of services included in vision rehabilitation.
- Visual Impairment in Children
This program identifies common causes of visual impairment in children and discusses how vision loss can impact a child’s development, learning, daily activities, and socialization. Services and technology that can help children with visual impairment in daily activities are also reviewed. This will give staff a better understanding of childhood visual impairment and how vision agencies can help children and families.
- Guide Dogs for People with Vision Impairment
This program demonstrates the role of guides dogs in assisting people with vision impairment to safely navigate their environments. It describes the background and training of guide dogs and gives tips for proper and safe etiquette when encountering a guide dog team. This program will increase staff understanding of the role of guide dogs and increase their confidence in interacting with staff, clients, and visitors with guide dogs.
- Coming Next: Vision Terminology