Dr. Kammer doesn’t shy away from challenges. Here in the U.S., she works as a consultant and educator, advocating for a more collaborative approach to low vision rehabilitation. She also makes time to go to Tanzania at least twice a year to help children with albinism. While they face the same vision issues that other people with albinism do, there is a higher incidence of albinism there, and these children are at risk because of social discrimination and dangerous superstitions about their condition. Dr. Kammer helps these children get the vision care they need, and ideally, gets them into schools and safer environments.
Back in the States, Dr. Kammer promotes better low vision teaching models and practice. After years as an educator and administrator at optometry colleges, she came to believe strongly in an innovative team-based approach, especially in the ways that occupational therapists and optometrists can work together more effectively. The thought shift wasn’t easy for her to make, but the improved patient outcomes were undeniable. “I went from thinking of rehabilitation as primarily prescribing devices to seeing it as a longer-term process,” says Dr. Kammer. “Patients were taking this new knowledge that the occupational therapist and I were providing them and really starting to adapt and change behavior.
When she met Envision leaders a few years ago, Dr. Kammer realized Envision’s multidisciplinary approach resonated with her own. About the Envision Conference, where she was keynote speaker in 2014, Dr. Kammer says, “To have something that’s cross-disciplinary is really novel—to bring different approaches and ways of thinking together.” So how can this collaborative concept gain greater traction? Says Dr. Kammer, “There is such a need for professionals to get to this conference and see some working models and testimonials of a few great teams that are working well.