What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapists (also known as OT’s) provide support, advice and training to enable you to continue doing everyday tasks and activities that are meaningful to you. Known as “activities of daily living”, these tasks include leisure, self-care and productivity activities such as:
- Personal care such as washing, grooming and dressing
- Preparing and consuming food and drinks
- Walking and getting around safely within your home and the community
VisAbility’s Occupational Therapists specialise in working with people of all ages who live with blindness or vision impairment.
Benefits of occupational therapy
Occupational therapy empowers individuals and families to build capacity and independence. This reduces the need to rely on others. Our Occupational Therapists tailor support into personalised solutions that give you the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to live life to the full. Your life, your way.
Low vision strategies
We will work with you to conduct an assessment to find out how you currently manage your day to day activities. The OT will help identify goals in the areas that are most important to you. They’ll suggest strategies and supports to help you with a new activity, or assist you to complete a task you may have done a thousand times before, but suggest a new way to do it. Supports are varied and can include:
- Education on strategies and techniques to help adapt to changes in vision. For example, using other senses such as hearing and sense of touch.
- Adapting the environment at home, school, or work to promote independence and best use any remaining vision.
- Recommendations of small aids and equipment to help you complete activities of daily living safely and confidently.
- Advice, demonstrations, training and support for a range of specialist assistive technology.
For children with low vision
Children living with low or no vision may need support to build skills to help them become independent. Our team of therapists can help your child to:
- Discover suitable toys and games to encourage getting involved in play activities.
- Build skills such as tying shoelaces, getting dressed or eating.
- Develop fine motor skills, such as handwriting or typing.
- Improve social skills and manage emotions.
- Make adaptations or access equipment for the home, at school or in childcare to assist with everyday tasks such as bathing, mealtimes or social activities.
For adults living with blindness
- Reading and access to information using magnifiers and improved lighting advice.
- Access to low vision devices and equipment such as liquid level indicators, large print or talking measuring devices and chopping aids to help you prepare meals safely.
- Equipment and strategies to help you organise your wardrobe, kitchen or bathroom to make items easy to locate.
- Using assistive technology such as your phone or computer to stay connected with friends and family.
- Home modifications such grab rails or high contrast strips on stairs.
Occupational therapy “gadgets”
OTs can prescribe many different “gadgets” and assistive devices to help people who are blind or vision impaired with daily tasks. Some examples include:
- Tactile markers (bumpons) or Velcro® to identify buttons or controls.
- Adaptations to improve lighting around the home.
- Installation of grab rails.
- High contrast strips for stairs.
- Large print items, such as telephones or computer keyboards.
Visit the VisAbility shop for more low vision living aids.
If you have concerns about your own vision or the vision of someone you know and would like to talk to one our specialists, please contact our Client Experience Team for more information.
Our Occupational Therapists are registered with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia (link opens in new window). Occupational Therapists are part of a wider group, known as Allied Health Professionals (AHPs).