Wichita, Kan. (Sept. 29, 2022) – The Gigi and Carl Allen Envision Research Institute (ERI) is proud to welcome a new research Fellow, Sarika Gopalakrishnan, PhD FAAO. Sarika’s research, sponsored by Dave Sharma, investigates different methods of providing augmented reality assistive technology for people who are visually impaired. Specifically, her research will investigate the improvement of the visual resolution of objects and navigation in everyday environments while using augmented reality assistive technology for people with low vision to perform their everyday life activities independently.
“All of us at the Envision Research Institute are excited to assist with Sarika’s research on augmented reality for people who are visually impaired,” said Ronald Schuchard, PhD FARVO, ERI and Envision University Executive Director. “Sarika has already attained impressive accomplishments in the field of low vision rehabilitation, and we’re privileged to have her continue her research efforts at Envision.”
By conducting her research at the Envision Research Institute, Sarika has the opportunity to collaborate with the diverse Envision programs helping people who are blind or visually impaired as well as the many people participating in those programs, patients/clients and caregivers. These programs include the Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center and the Envision Community Programs involving support groups and an art program.
“I’m grateful to everyone at the Envision Research Institute for welcoming me to the team, especially my director Dr. Ron Schuchard and of course to Mr. Sharma for sponsoring my research,” said Dr. Sarika Gopalakrishnan. “Augmented is a fairly new assistive technology with a lot of potential for vision rehabilitation. I look forward to studying and investigating how this assistive technology can potentially help people who are visually impaired.”
In 2008, Sarika completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Optometry from the Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya, in Tamil Nadu, India. She then joined Sankara Nethralaya as a Optometrist and initiated, as well as directed, a low vision care department for 14 years. Sarika has many accolades, peer-reviewed publications and awards including being recognized as the first Indian woman to be honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) in the field of low vision in 2014.
Sarika then became the first Indian female to pursue a PhD in the field of low vision care investigating virtual and augmented reality assistive technology in head mounted displays. Sarika’s PhD work focused on the application of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for improving the quality of life of individuals with low vision. In her thesis, she designed a 3D virtual bank scenario in which various functional vision parameters like visual search behavior, head movements and spatial orientation were assessed. She used augmented reality technology for understanding the improvement in vision and quality of life of people with low vision.
Additional details about the ERI and its Postdoctoral Fellowship program can be found online at research.envisionus.com/Fellowship-program.
About Envision: Envision promotes advocacy and independence for those who are blind or low vision. Founded in 1933, Envision is one of the largest employers of individuals with vision loss in the nation. Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., Envision’s mission is to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research. For more information, visit www.envisionus.com.
Media Contact: Holly Herring, Marketing Manager, Envision, Inc.
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