Print edition page number(s) 131-131
The field of visual impairment and blindness encompasses a myriad of professionals--our ranks include certified teachers of students with visual impairments, career counselors who work with adults with recent vision loss, orientation and mobility practitioners who teach city dwellers to ride the subway, vision rehabilitation therapists who help seniors use their remaining sight, as well as ophthalmologists, optometrists, early interventionists; The list goes on and on. With a field as diverse as ours, it may not come as a surprise that this month's issue includes a wide variety of topics from authors who hail from around the globe.
The lead article, by McDonnall and O'Mally, discusses the important topic of underemployment of youths with visual impairments, which is of great concern nationally and around the world. The authors delve deeply into the area of early work experiences as a key predictor of employment of young adults with visual impairments. Their findings suggest that the quality, length, and variety of work experiences during the school years have a positive impact on future employment for this group. McDonnall and O'Mally's contribution to the literature of the field is essential reading, because the implications of these findings may help lead to positive outcomes in employment for people with visual impairments.
Next is an article that discusses the impact of anxiety in persons who have visual hallucinations as a result of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which affects many older individuals with low vision. This retrospective study digs into the level of anxiety of 31 persons who have the syndrome and 26 people with low vision who do not. Geueke and colleagues discuss interventions, including pharmacological strategies, for this very unique older population.
As any teacher who has shown a video to his or her class can tell you, the issue of accessibility to visual information in media is an important one. Branje and Fels evaluated software designed to provide a solution to this problem by allowing amateurs to provide audio description for visual media. The authors point out that a great deal of such description is currently provided by inexperienced individuals using the "whisper method," in which a sighted person describes something visual on screen by attempting to verbally convey what is being seen. One group of participants of this study, audio description amateurs, used the LiveDescribe software to create audio descriptions for a 20-minute episode of The Daily Show. Another group of participants, which included people with visual impairments, gave positive ratings to the quality of the descriptions and the characteristics of the describer.
John, a young man with cerebral visual impairment (CVI), is the subject of the next article. Macintyre-Beon and colleagues explain in great detail his medical history and the medical interventions that have been used for his complex visual condition. The authors also interview John to provide readers a better understanding of the practical problems he faces every day and the solutions and strategies he uses to overcome obstacles. The practical strategies included in this article might help teachers who work with students with CVI.
Finally, a Research Report by Janssen offers readers strategies for enhancing sustained interactions when working with children with congenital deaf-blindness.
Whether you're a teacher or therapist, parent or practitioner, there is something for you in this issue of JVIB. Enjoy the read!
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