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Spectrios Institute for Low Vision - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Spectrios Institute for Low Vision
Deicke House
219 East Cole Avenue
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 690-7115 (Local)
(630) 690-9037 (Fax)
(630) 690-2509 (TDD/TTY)

Brief Description

The Spectrios Institute for Low Vision (formerly the Deicke Center for Visual Rehabilitation) offers a comprehensive low vision program for people with vision loss. The Spectrios Institute's success is due to a comprehensive program of visual rehabilitation and a highly qualified and caring staff. The program includes:

  • A rehabilitation counselor who assists each patient to understand their eye condition, to set visual goals and learn coping techniques.
  • .
  • An evaluation by a low vision rehabilitation doctor, who determines the amount of useable sight a person has, prescribes appropriate optical devices, and develop their individual rehabilitation plan.
  • A certified vision rehabilitation therapist who instructs each patient in the use of the prescribed devices and daily living skills.
  • As part of the Spectrios program, every patient visits Eye Tec, the Spectrios program of high technology, where computer systems, talking devices and electronic reading machines are available for demonstration and training.
  • Information on safe movement, mobility, and techniques used to walk independently are shared with each person.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.
Clients served on average per year: 1250+
Number of staff: 13
Staff description: Optometrists, certified rehabilitation teachers (1 also O & M Instructor), rehabilitation counselor, technology coordinator, technology instructor, support staff.
Geographic area served: Illinois, parts of Indiana and Wisconsin and the U.S.A.
Publications: Bright Side (quarterly newsletter). Spot Light (twice a year to children in our program).


Constance Arends, M.S.Ed, R.T.C., Director of Rehabilitation Teaching
John Coalter, O.D., Optometrist, Low Vision Rehabilitation, (630) 690-7115
John Diehl, Managing Director
Lynn Freyberg, Director of Marketing and Outreach Programs,
Leah Gerlach, MS, C.R.C., Director of Counseling services and Assistive Technology Specialist
Mary Jordan, O.D., Optometrist, Low Vision Rehabilitation
Diane Levine, Director of Development
Melissa Taussig, M.S. L.P.C., Rehabilitation Counselor
R. Tracy Williams, O.D., F.A.A.O., Executive Director, Low Vision Rehabilitation Doctor

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Assessment
    • Provides low vision, technology and job-site evaluation.
  • Assistive Products
    • Distributes optical devices, non-optical goods, lamps, clocks, sunglasses, CCTVs, computers and software. Products for sale on site.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Offers "Seeing is Believing" program, in which low vision services are taken to Illinois schools and devices are prescribed and dispensed.
  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Provides training in the use of computers, software and CCTVs.
  • Counseling
    • Offers individual, group, and family counseling. Monthly support group.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides training in activities of daily living and use of optical devices and assistive technology devices.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Provides low vision evaluation and follow-up. Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.
  • Support Groups
    • Has a monthly support group.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Provides orientation and mobility training.

Services for Children

  • Assessment
    • Conducts comprehensive functional vision examinations lasting more than one hour to assure the patient's visual limitations and visual potential are fully understood.
  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Our in-school outreach program is designed to help children with low vision, grades K-12 receive low vision diagnostic services and optical devices free of charge. Prescriptive optical devices such as magnifiers, telescopes and high powered reading glasses are often the only means by which these students can participate in classroom activities.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • Sponsors camps for children to learn computer skills, new technology aids, and to network with other children with vision loss.
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