Jane Elliott (right) shows Nhi Porter (left) how to use a large print calendar
Community Low Vision Rehabilitation Services including Independent Living & Safe Travel:
Our Independent Living Program, which is administered through the state of Washington’s Department of Services for the Blind, serves the following counties: King, Snohomish, Skagit, Island and San Juan Counties, as well as O&M services for Pierce County.
Instructors provide in home training on a variety of daily living tasks for people with low vision and blindness. Tasks may include appliance use, medication management, telephone and smart phone use, and reading and writing. Lighthouse Orientation and Mobility Instructors assist people in meeting their mobility and independent travel goals, such as traveling around their home and neighborhood and using bus or paratransit services. We assist and empower people with low vision and blindness to be as independent as possible
For more information about services, call (206) 436-2154 to speak to a representative, or fill out a referral request here.
Lighthouse Low Vision Clinic
Our Low Vision Clinic located in Seattle offers functional vision assessments by an optometrist who is specifically trained in mitigating the affects of vision loss and maximizing functional vision. Following the low vision exam and prescription, Lighthouse low vision therapists continue training with patients to ensure they are comfortable in using the aids and techniques prescribed by the doctor.
Low vision exam and what to expect during your initial visit:
Dr. Anna Shagas (left) performs an eye test with Michael Martens (right)
A low vision exam is a functional vision assessment performed by an optometrist which includes an evaluation of the eyeglass prescription and recommendation of optical and non-optical devices. These recommendations will aid clients in maximizing their functional vision to help them meet their goals of independence in daily living. This exam is more extensive than a typical eye exam and can last up to 90 minutes.
Low vision evaluation performed by the optometrist includes an extensive medical history review, analysis of activities of daily living, low vision refraction/visual acuity testing, mapping of central and/or peripheral vision, lighting assessment and trialing of prescribed devices and techniques. Evaluation and testing can differ depending on the client’s goals and eye condition. This in-depth evaluation helps both the client and service providers learn more about the effects of the eye condition on the client’s functional vision.
After the functional vision assessment, an occupational therapist will review and refine the individualized vision rehabilitation goals with the client, providing additional instruction and support that will enable individuals to meet their daily living goals and maximize their independence.
Clinic Rehabilitation Services
Our low vision rehabilitation services are provided by a licensed occupational therapist. Services assist clients to maximize the functioning of their remaining vision to increase independence in daily activities. Our occupational therapist works closely with our inter-professional team, including the low vision optometrist and certified orientation and mobility specialists to help clients with low vision improve their independence in daily activities and tasks. Occupational Therapy services may include:
- Instruction in effective use of remaining vision to complete daily living tasks
- Training in the use of adaptive devices and assistive technology
- Modification of activities or tasks so they can be completed with reduced vision
- Recommending modifications to the environment to promote safety, accessibility, and independence
Low vision occupational therapy services typically involve 2 to 4 sessions, including the evaluation and assessment. The evaluation process will be completed following the functional visual assessment with our low vision optometrist. The occupational therapist will then help clients establish therapy goals and recommend the appropriate duration and frequency of low vision rehabilitation services based on clients’ specific needs.
Paying for Low Vision Exam and Rehabilitation Therapy:
Medicare and most third-party insurance companies pay for the low vision exam, special testing, and low vision rehabilitation with the occupational therapist. The refraction/eyeglasses prescription is not covered by Medicare and other medical insurance companies and may be an out of pocket expense. If you are wearing a glasses prescription already, which is up to date and provides the maximum correction available, then we will not need to update the glasses prescription.
For more information about services, call (206) 436-2228 to speak to a representative or click this link to ask your doctor to fill out a referral form.
Lighthouse Low Vision Store
Dr. Anna Shagas, OD (left) demonstrating a CCTV (electronic magnifier) to Dennis Tay
The Lighthouse Low Vision Store is located just across the lobby from the low vision clinic. The store carries specialized low vision products that help people live as independently as possible.
- High-powered reading glasses
- Handheld and stand magnifiers, as well as electronic magnifiers
- Talking watches and clocks
- White canes for safe and independent travel
- A variety of adaptive aids for the kitchen and other in-home areas
- Quality glare protection and sunglasses
- Task lighting
- Large button telephones, remotes, recorders
Our store is open for in person shopping by appointment only. The store is also available to clinic patients the day of their clinic appointment. If you are interested in purchasing products from the store and do not have a clinic appointment you may also place an order by phone.
For more information about our Low Vision Store, or to make a phone order, call (206) 436-2228 to speak to a representative.
Education and Resources:
Orientation and Mobility Specialist Erin Fitzpatrick doing white cane training with a student
Lighthouse Low Vision Services provides resources and information to individuals affected by vision loss, Including educational brochures, referrals to local support groups, government-based programs and services. Presentations and informational sessions are available to local community members and agencies upon request.
National Organizations and Resources
College and Education Resources
Dog Guide Information
Accessible Web Design
Blindness Resources for Seniors
For more information please call (206) 436-2154 to speak to a representative, or fill out a referral request here.
Last updated on: 08-10-2021