Description of Research Report: Effects of Mobility Training on Gait and Balance
Approximately 3.8 million persons over age 65 are visually impaired (that is, are blind or have low vision), of whom about 173,000 are legally blind veterans (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2003). The population of legally blind veterans is projected to increase to nearly 1 million by 2010 (Veterans Benefits Administration, 2001). As these demographic changes occur, it is important to gain a better understanding of the effects of orientation and mobility (O&M) training on older people with visual impairments, including those served by the Georgia Veterans Affairs Blind Rehabilitation Center (BRC), on specific movement functions, especially gait and balance, and the potential for falls and injury. The lack of objective quantitative functional measures related to the outcomes of rehabilitation programs serving visually impaired persons limits the documentation and improvement of services to legally blind veterans.