Aging and Vision Loss

A Handbook for Families

Alberta L. Orr and Priscilla Rogers

About the Authors


Alberta L. Orr, MSW, is Program Manager, Aging and Vision Loss, American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in New York City, as well as former Director of AFB's National Aging Program. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she teaches Rehabilitation Counseling with the Aged in the masters' level Vision Rehabilitation program. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in social welfare at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Ms. Orr is the author or co-author of numerous publications, including Vision and Aging: Crossroads for Service Delivery; Issues in Aging and Vision: A Curriculum for University Programs and In-Service Training, Solutions for Success: A Training Manual for Working with Older People Who are Visually Impaired; and Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired; as well as the executive producer of the video, Profiles in Aging and Vision and co-producer of Solutions for Everyday Living for Older People with Visual Impairments. An internationally and nationally recognized speaker in the area of aging and vision loss, she spearheaded the National Agenda on Vision and Aging and was the convener of the National Aging and Vision Network, initiatives supported by AFB, and was twice a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging.

Her primary areas of interest are developing training materials on aging and vision loss for professionals outside the vision field and ensuring that family members have the resources they need to assist their older relatives who are experiencing vision loss to achieve maximum personal independence.

Priscilla Rogers, Ph.D., is a consultant in vision and aging with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in Morristown, Tennessee. Her background includes a degree in gerontology and in special education with an emphasis in vision and aging. She is former director of the Adjustment Training Program for Older Blind at the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind; director of Channel Markers for the Blind (now the Watson Center); Bureau Chief of Client Services for the Florida Division of Blind Services; and Commissioner of the Department for the Blind in Kentucky.

Dr. Rogers has authored several articles on vision and aging and was co-author of A Training Manual for Working with Older People Who are Visually Impaired; and Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are visually Impaired, as well as co-producer of the video Solutions for Everyday Living for Older People with Visual Impairments.

In working directly with older people with vision loss and their family members, Dr. Rogers realized early on the need that family members have for information about how to help their spouse or parent cope with vision loss. Throughout her career she has advocated for the inclusion of services to family members as part of vision rehabilitation programs. The needs of family members remains a primary focus for her as vision and aging consultant with AFB, where she has conducted family training courses and focus groups with family members.

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