Envision Opens 12th Annual Conference In Phoenix

July 27, 2017
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The 12th annual Envision Conference is now underway at the Renaissance Phoenix Glendale Hotel & Spa. Mark Humayun, M.D, Ph.D., provided the keynote this morning, discussing the genesis of the Argus II and the importance of innovation in addressing vision loss. Dr. Humayun is co-inventor of the Argus II, the world’s first FDA-approved retinal prosthesis designed to restore functional sight to those with complete retinal blindness, and the 2015 recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
 
The Opening Plenary Session also included the presentation of the annual Envision Oculus Award. This year’s recipient is the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in acknowledgement of its Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate Program in Occupational Therapy.
 
“I’m honored to accept this award,” said Beth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, an associate professor and a primary instructor in the program, who accepted the award on behalf of UAB. “Envision has been a key collaborator in clinical education and research for occupational therapy and advancing the field for the care of people with vision loss.”
 
The Oculus award honors an individual(s) or organization whose career or program has had a national or international impact for people who are blind or low vision through professional collaboration, advocacy, research or education. Nominees are selected from an international call for peer nominations. UAB’s graduate certificate program is one of the preeminent low-vision rehabilitation programs for occupational therapists in the world, having produced more than half of all occupational therapists with a Specialty Certification in Low Vision (SCLV).
 
Envision Conference is presented by Envision, the Wichita, Kan.-based not-for-profit organization that supports those who are blind and visually impaired. Envision Conference attracts ophthalmologists, optometrists, occupational therapists, teachers of the visually impaired, researchers, academics and others to discuss the latest revelations and advances in low vision and low vision rehabilitation.
 
This year’s conference was made possible in part by Visionary Sponsor William L. Hudson. Additional sponsors include Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Precision Vision, VFO, Baum USA, NIDEK and Bender Consulting Services, Inc.
 
Technology Taking Center Stage On Conference Agenda
Technology that is making a positive impact on the capabilities and quality of life of those with vision loss has even greater prominence at Envision Conference 2017 than in years past.
 
“Advances in technology, including the proliferation of assistive devices and expansion of mobile- and web-driven applications, are breaking down longstanding barriers to independence, accessibility and overall quality of life,” said Michael Epp, manager of professional education for Envision. “More exciting breakthroughs are on the horizon, and once again, we take great pride in being able to assemble a diverse group of professionals to share knowledge, introduce new perspectives and look ahead to future developments, creating a world of new possibilities.”
 
In addition to the keynote presentation by Dr. Humayun, the conference agenda includes a session by Florida-Based Optometrist/Vision Scientist Dr. Ava Bittner, O.D., Ph.D., who led an Envision-sponsored research team project to study the efficacy of telerehabilitation. Her team received $10,000 in project funding from a research proposal competition held at the 2015 Envision Conference.
 
Dr. Bittner will be reporting on satisfaction levels of telerehabilitation, the process of treating remote patients using video chat technology, among patients with low vision and the professionals who treat them. Other sessions on adaptive technology, head-mounted display technology and medical technologies for addressing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) beyond inhibiting growth also will draw attention to the increasing importance of technology in enriching life with vision loss and impairment.
 
Envision Conference offers more than 60 hours of clinical education and research sessions pertaining to low vision, enabling professionals from a variety of eye care and related fields to focus on improving the quality of low vision care through collaboration, advocacy, research and education. Many sessions qualify for accredited continuing education credits from organizations including the Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP), the American Optometric Association Commission on Paraoptometric Certification (AOA-CPC) and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC).
 
Envision Conference 2017 continues here through July 29. For more information visit https://university.envisionus.com/Conference.
 

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