In state government, there are many acronyms. There is one in particular this week we would like to bring to your attention: VRT.
VRT stands for Vision Rehabilitation Teaching and is the educational process that prepares a blind or visually impaired person of any age to perform daily living skills safely and independently in any environment. Areas of assessment may include:
- Daily Living: use of markings, contrast, labeling, adaptive/safe meal preparation, organizational strategies
- Communication Skills: handwriting/Braille skills, telephone use, adaptive record keeping
- Maximization of Remaining Vision: magnification and lighting assessments, use of low vision devices
- Use of Assistive Technology: keyboarding skills, screen reading/enlarging software
- Leisure Time Activities: adaptive games
In August 2011, vision rehabilitation therapists met in Boston for the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Regional Conference. An afternoon session was set aside to tackle some of the challenges faced by individuals in the VRT profession including the recruitment and retention of professionals in the field. From then, the Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Recruitment and Retention Committee was born.
The Vision Rehabilitation Therapy Recruitment and Retention Committee designated that the last week of June each year will be Vision Rehabilitation Therapists (VRT) Week, or, VRT Week!
The purpose of this special week is twofold:
- First, the week is designed to increase the visibility of our profession.
- Secondly, the goal is to encourage and recognize VRTs who have been diligently serving individuals with vision loss.
VRT Week has been celebrated for the past two years with many states recognized their VRT’S in a variety of ways.
Most individuals in the blindness field are familiar with the name Anne Sullivan. They know her as the teacher who worked closely with Helen Keller, a nationally renowned advocate for the deaf-blind population. What most don’t know is that Anne Sullivan was trained as a “Home Teacher,” the predecessor of the VRT. It is only fitting that VRT Awareness Week falls the week of June 27th, Helen Keller’s birthday.
Happy Birthday Helen! Happy VRT Week!
MCB Celebrates White Cane Safety Day posted on Nov 18
Eddie Carreiro doesn’t allow his vision loss to stop him from doing anything. He credits his “I can attitude” as the biggest reason for his adjustment to losing his vision. Eddie also his Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) played a significant role in getting …Continue Reading MCB Celebrates White Cane Safety Day
DDS Honors Its Veterans posted on Nov 10
On November 9th, DDS held its inaugural DDS Veterans event to honor and respect our Veteran co-workers, and also to learn how to make DDS a more supportive workplace for them. This was attended by many DDS staff who are also Veterans, along with our …Continue Reading DDS Honors Its Veterans
DTA Clients Overcome Life’s Challenges and Share Stories of Perseverance posted on Nov 4
Last week in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House more than 100 Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) clients were honored by Commissioner Jeff McCue for taking a positive step on their own personal path to self-sufficiency. These individuals have all been served by …Continue Reading DTA Clients Overcome Life’s Challenges and Share Stories of Perseverance