On March 2, 2015, forty-seven 1st grade students along with their teachers and parents from John Thomas Dye school visited our Tarzana office location for a Low Vision Day.
The office was set up with six different low vision stations: learning what happens in a low vision exam, meeting working guide dogs and the adults who depend on them to travel safely, making high contrast sound drums that attract the visual attention of our young patients, learning some white and red cane techniques, seeing what it is like to use low vision aids such as magnifiers and telescopes, and experimenting with CCTVs which uses a camera and an electronic display to magnify print.
The first graders were given masks to simulate different visual conditions that people with low vision may experience such as having blurred or reduced vision, central or tunnel vision, or visual field loss. With the masks on the children go from having full sight to having partial sight and can navigate and experience the low vision stations in this way.
The first graders were asked to write about their experiences from the day and shared a few of their entries:
This ongoing 10 year relationship between the Center and John Thomas Dye School not only benefits the first graders and many of their parents who come along, the Center benefits in an important way as well. The first graders and their families raise money for a special fund that helps families of children pay for glasses when they cannot afford them. Being fitted with glasses at an early age makes a life changing difference for many children who may begin to smile or reach out, crawl or walk as a result of being able to see the world more clearly. Many children and their families have benefited from the generosity of the first grade classes at John Thomas Dye School and we always look forward to hosting them for our Low Vision Day.