Bridging the Gap: Bringing Low Vision Rehabilitation to Peru | Envision Blog

Bridging the Gap: Bringing Low Vision Rehabilitation to Peru

By Beth Walker • Apr 04, 2024
Taylor with one of his patients in Peru.

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In the world of healthcare around the globe, some communities face significant challenges in accessing specialized services, especially when it comes to low vision rehabilitation. However, there are individuals like Taylor Fletcher who are taking bold steps to change this, ensuring that essential low vision rehabilitation services reach those with vision loss in underserved areas. 

Taylor Fletcher is a certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (O&M) and has been working as an O&M for four years. Originally graduating with a master's degree in public health, he wasn’t expecting to follow in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Donald C. Fletcher, who owns his own low vision center within the Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center (EVRC). Yet, after job shadowing an O&M Specialist for a day, Fletcher became deeply passionate about the positive impact of low vision rehabilitation, and went back to get his second master’s degree in O&M. After working for three years, he decided to take a six-month vacation around South America, as he speaks fluent Spanish and is passionate about Spanish culture. During this trip he was connected with a friend of his father’s, Dr. Rosario Espinoza, a low vision professional living in Peru, and from there his mission began.  

Dr. Espinoza explained to Fletcher how minimal low vision rehabilitation services are in Peru, and asked if he would be willing to give a brief training to her low vision patients. He agreed, not only providing her patients with training, but eventually presenting his services to the National Institute of Ophthalmology about the crucial need for low vision rehabilitation in Peru.  

“I have only been in Peru for a few months, but I have seen the gap in services for people with vision loss here,” said Fletcher. “Many use makeshift aids like broomsticks for mobility to navigate in their homes or public areas, and some do not use any aids at all.” This realization propelled Fletcher to act, speaking to the EVRC staff and asking about low vision adaptive aids. EVRC staff donated a variety of white canes for Taylor to use with his patients in Peru.  

Fletcher has been working with a few patients already and plans to stay in Peru indefinitely to offer his services to those in need. Through ongoing collaboration with low vision professionals and training initiatives with his patients, he aims to empower individuals in Peru to lead independent and fulfilling lives, setting up a system for success. Envision is proud to be able to help this initiative succeed.  

“I am very grateful to the EVRC for donating these white canes for me to take back to my patients,” said Fletcher. “I want to provide people with as many tools as I can to be independent, and this will help my mission and those who I serve immensely.” 

Stay tuned for a follow-up story recapping Fletcher’s admirable efforts in Peru.  
Dr. Fletcher and Taylor Fletcher smiling as a variety of white canes are spread out on a table.
Taylor and Dr. Fletcher smiling as a variety of white canes sit in front of them.