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Demystifying Complex Brain-Based Vision Impairment

presented by Dana Aravich, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, CLVT, Holly Stants, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, CLVT, and Laura Troxell, MOT, OTR/L, CPAM

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Dana Aravich receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. She is an employee of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and is a contractor with Johnson & Johnson.

Nonfinancial: Dana Aravich is a speaker and member of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Dana Aravich has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Financial: Holly Stants receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. She is an employee of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, is an adjunct instructor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehab Sciences OT Department, and is an adjunct instructor at Chatham University.

Nonfinancial: Holly Stants is on the ACVREP Subject Matter Expert CLVT committee and is a member of the POTA vision task force. Holly Stants has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Financial: Laura Troxell receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. She is an employee of UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.

Nonfinancial: Laura Troxell has no competing nonfinancial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

Accreditation Check:
Video Runtime: 76 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 51 Minutes

Changes in the visual system following acquired brain injury (ABI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are common, affecting 25%-50% of clients. However, visuoperceptual symptoms related to cortical visual impairment (CVI), or cortical blindness, can be challenging to detect and understand. Clinicians often face uncertainty when addressing these complex visual needs due to limited research, despite their significant negative impact on clients' functional performance. This evidence-based presentation aims to provide occupational therapists (OTs) and other rehabilitation professionals with simple techniques to improve their clients' functional performance of daily activities.

Learning Objectives
  • Examine the visual pathway, with specific emphasis on the cortical visual pathway as it relates to daily function
  • Determine the functional implications of cortical visual performance on daily activity
  • Determine how to use a variety of evidence-based evaluation principles in clients with various levels of functional impairments
  • Apply a variety of functional treatment techniques for clients across the rehab continuum
  • Prepare explanations of functional visual changes for other professionals and family members in order to recognize when to refer clients to other providers and community-based resources

Meet Your Instructors

Dana Aravich, MS, OTR/L, CPAM, CLVT

Dana Aravich is an occupational therapist who primarily works with individuals with neurological and low-vision conditions in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She also has lived experience as an individual with a low-vision condition. Aravich regularly presents on vision-related topics at local, national, and international presentations, at conferences, and as a guest lecturer. She cocreated…

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Holly Stants, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, CLVT

Holly Stants is an award-winning occupational therapist and clinical interventionist with expertise in functional outcomes measurement, quality improvement, and low-vision intervention for people with blindness and low vision and other comorbid conditions. She also creates low-vision educational content for learning opportunities for staff, universities, and local and international conferences. Stants also has extensive experience as…

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Laura Troxell, MOT, OTR/L, CPAM

Laura Troxell is an occupational therapist with expertise in clinical intervention for individuals with neurological and low-vision conditions. She also creates neurological and low-vision educational content for learning opportunities for staff and local universities. She has more than a decade of experience and knowledge working in both inpatient and outpatient settings, providing care to individuals…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

1. What Is Cortical Blindness, or Cortical Visual Impairment?

Understanding the concept of cortical blindness, or cortical visual impairment, is crucial to recognizing and addressing visual challenges in individuals. This chapter delves into the intricacies of the visual pathway, with a specific focus on the cortical visual pathway and its impact on daily functioning. By grasping the connection between cortical visual processing and functional abilities, professionals can develop targeted interventions and strategies to optimize independence and quality of life for those with visual impairments resulting from brain injury.

2. How to Evaluate and Treat Brain-Based Vision Changes in High-Acuity Clients

In this chapter, you will learn techniques for evaluating and treating brain-based vision changes in high-acuity clients. You will identify changes in functional visual performance related to cortical visual changes, discover practical strategies for adapting evaluation methods, and learn to implement functional treatment techniques tailored to the unique needs of high-acuity clients.

3. How to Evaluate and Treat Brain-Based Vision Changes in Low-Acuity Clients

In this chapter, you will explore effective strategies for evaluating and treating low-acuity clients. You will learn to identify nuanced behaviors and implement strategies to improve clients’ functional visual performance in activities of daily living.

4. Education and Integration of Family Members and Multidisciplinary Providers Into Care

In this chapter, participants will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate family members and other care providers into the comprehensive care of clients with visual impairments. They will learn how to confidently explain functional visual changes to professionals and family members and recognize appropriate referral pathways. By fostering collaboration, participants will enhance the overall support provided to clients, optimizing their visual outcomes and overall well-being.

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