Ocutech supports optometrist who created non-profit to serve visually impaired children in Namibia

Dr. Chantal Overvliet, of the Oculus Vision Centre in Windhoek, is the sole optometrist providing low vision care in all of Namibia. After learning of the urgent needs of the 132 children at the country’s only school for the visually impaired, she and her business partner and Low Vision assistant, Michelle Opperman, created a non-profit project to provide high-level low vision testing and products to the students. The school’s principal, Smithly Engelbrecht, said he was so grateful for the important work Dr. Overvliet is doing.

In the back row: Chantal Overvliet (Optometrist at Oculus Low Vision Centre), Mr. Smithly Engelbrecht (Principal), Ms. Beverly Coussement (Public Relations Officer at NAMDIA), Mrs. Mugunda (Teacher), Mr. Andreas (Teacher) and Michelle Opperman (Low Vision Support at Oculus Low Vision Centre) with the Prevocational and Grade 9 learners of the School.

Since close to 80% of these students are from less privileged households, their families could not afford the high-quality low vision aids that would allow the children to maximize their educational opportunities. The testing process, which was provided by Oculus at no cost, took close to a year to complete as it had to be scheduled between the daily functions of the practice. Once their vision needs were identified, Dr. Overvliet approached many organizations in search of funding to provide these special low vision aids to these deserving children.

After visiting the school and learning about its programs and seeing the amazing work done by the teachers and administration, the Renaissance Health Medical Aid Fund selected the project as their biggest Corporate Social Investments (CSI) to date. According to the fund, part of their sponsorship and CSI policy focuses on youth and health-related issues.  “We came to understand that children with visual impairments will find it hard to get through life without the necessary early life training and visual and mobility aids required. These services can make a real impact for these children and on society and this need fit exactly into our fund’s social investment mission,” said Kwendhi Amagulu, Renaissance’s senior marketing officer. Namdia, the Namibian diamond company, has also become a sponsor of the project.

Ocutech was pleased and honored to have its products selected for these children and offered special reduced pricing to enable the project to reach as many children as possible. They are especially well received by children due to their ease of use, wearing comfort and hi-tech appearance.  They are designed to be easy and convenient for low vision specialists to fit and prescribe and can be updated as children grow.

Overvliet’s and Opperman’s joint passion is to enhance vision for visually impaired children in Namibia. “Our goal is to help them maximize their academic and personal potential to allow them to become productive members in their communities,” they said.

Michelle Opperman (Low Vision Support) demonstrating how to use the VES Sport telescope to a Grade 9 learner.

To contact the Oculus Vision Centre visit www.oculusvisioncentre.com.

In back row: Chantal Overvliet (Optometrist at Oculus Low Vision Centre), Mr. Smithly Engelbrecht (Principal), Ms. Beverly Coussement (Public Relations Officer at NAMDIA), Mrs. Mugunda (Teacher) and Michelle Opperman (Low Vision Support at Oculus Low Vision Centre) with all the children that received the VES Sport telescopes and Sightscopes.

Link to Press Release: Downloadable PDF

Open Your World With Low Vision Care


OCUTECH, Inc., the worldwide leader in developing advanced bioptic telescopes for the visually impaired, has released a special video called “Open Your World with Low Vision Care” in celebration of Low Vision Awareness and Macular Degeneration month.

Over 5 million individuals in the US alone have reduced vision from disease, injury or genetic disorders. Low vision is not improvable with conventional eyeglasses, contacts, medication or surgery. However, low vision care can help individuals maximize their vision to enable them to see and do things they may never have thought possible.

A referral for low vision care is now the standard of care. Every individual with reduced vision deserves to learn about and have access to modern technology that can help them enhance their sight and “Open their World” to opportunities.

If you, a friend, or a loved one has reduced vision, ask your eye care professional for a referral for low vision care.  

Low Vision specialist, David Lewerenz, OD, FAAO, credits his Ocutech cap for his tennis success!

Low Vision Specialist wearing Ocutech hat and holding tennis trophy above head
Congratulations to Low Vision specialist, David Lewerenz, OD, FAAO for winning the runner-up tennis trophy!

“In preparing for and playing their sport, many athletes have habits or rituals that seem superstitious to others. When playing tennis, I always wear my Ocutech hat. The hat reminds me of the superior design and precision manufacturing of Ocutech products, and that translates into nailing the precision shots that have made me a trophy-winning tennis player. Superstitious? I think not!” said David Lewerenz, OD, FAAO.

Dr. Lewerenz, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Eye Center and Clinical Diplomat in Low Vision from the American Academy of Optometry, was the runner-up in the 2019 Denver Gates Tennis Center Men’s 3.0 Fall Tournament. 

But, he says, “here’s the totally true story of how this coveted trophy came to occupy a prominent place of pride in our home– There were about 12 of us in the Gates Tennis Center’s 3.0 men’s fall tennis ladder. Each ladder has a post-ladder tournament, for which a trophy is awarded to the champion and the runner-up. Only 4 of us signed up for the tournament in my division, so a single elimination bracket was put together. I immediately began to brag to anyone who would listen that I had made the semifinals of a tennis tournament. Well, one person had to drop out, so the tournament was reorganized as a round-robin between Steve, Mike and me. I played Steve and lost in straight sets, but to be fair, they were close sets (6-4, 7-5). Mike was never available to play at any of the scheduled times. So, in summary, I played one match, lost in straight sets, and won the runner-up trophy!”

Ocutech HatMy favorite hat to play tennis in is my Ocutech hat (see attached photo). After winning this trophy, I began to wonder, “Why is a trophy-winning athlete like me advertising for Ocutech for free? So, I reached out to Ocutech and said please have your people contact my people. I’ll leave the discussion of dollars to my agent, but I will tell you that you could get me on board for a lot less than Roger Federer.”

“We offered David a lifetime supply of caps, but evidently he feels that negotiations need to be ongoing,” said Henry Greene, OD, FAAO, co-founder and President of Ocutech!

Time of Flight Technology Enhances the Lives of the Visually Impaired

Technology designed for self-driving cars is now being applied to help low vision individuals see as close to normal as possible.

A project, led by Ocutech, Inc. a developer of vision-enhancing devices for the visually impaired, in collaboration with the engineering firm Image Quality Labs and ESPROS Photonics AG, has created the world’s only self-focusing bioptic telescopes.  Bioptic telescopes allow visually impaired individuals to magnify objects making them easier to see, similar to the use of binoculars. They may provide close-to-normal visual acuity for individuals with vision as reduced as 20/300. But since bioptics must be focused to be used at different distances, they can be inconvenient, if not difficult to use.

What is Time of Flight (ToF) Technology?

Incorporating time of flight (ToF) technology has enabled the development of the Falcon Autofocus Bioptic. By measuring the distance at the speed of light, it allows the device to focus smoothly and immediately to virtually any distance, providing the most natural and easy to use magnification possible. The Falcon incorporates wide-field Keplerian optics and is available in 3x, 4x and 5.5x powers. Weighing just 3.2 ounces (90gm), the Falcon device, mounted onto custom-designed conventional eyeglasses, can be worn comfortably for hours.  It can operate for over 8 hours using its separate rechargeable battery pack.

Young female wearing VES-Falcon Autofocus Bioptic and smiling
Time of Flight Technology Enhances the Lives of the Visually Impaired

Experienced manual focus bioptic wearers report how much easier and more natural the Falcon is to use.  Intended for individuals with central vision loss from disorders including Macular Degeneration, Stargardt’s Disease, Albinism, Nystagmus, Optic Atrophy, Achromatopsia and other Photo-receptor disorders, the Falcon, as well as Ocutech’s manual-focus versions have helped individuals of all ages throughout the world, allowing them to fully engage in the world around them such as to see signs while traveling and shopping, the board in school, recognize faces of friends and family, and where legal, perhaps even drive.

How to Obtain More Information

Ocutech bioptic telescopes are available through low vision specialists throughout the world.  Contact Ocutech for more information at 1-800-326-6460 or bioptics@ocutech.com. Visit Ocutech’s website for additional contact information!

ESPROS Press Release

Gary Asano, OD, FAAO joins Ocutech as Low Vision Professional Consultant

Dr. Henry Greene, OD, FAAO, co-founder and president of Ocutech announced the appointment. “We are thrilled to have a clinician as expert, experienced and well respected as Dr. Asano join Ocutech in its mission to enhance the vision and lives of the visually impaired,” said Greene.

Dr. Asano, a nationally known low vision expert and respected lecturer and educator, was the founder and former Chair of the California Optometric Association Low Vision Section, staff member at the Center for the Partially Sighted for over 30 years, and faculty at the Southern California College of Optometry. His broad clinical experience also includes over 25 years in private practice. In honor of his career in working for the visually impaired, Dr. Asano was the recipient of the Envision Oculus Award given at the 2018 Envision National Low Vision Conference. The Oculus award honors an individual or organization whose career has had a national or international impact for people who are blind or low vision through professional collaboration, advocacy, research or education.

If you are in the West Coast area and would like to contact Dr. Asano, please email at g.asano@verizon.net or by telephone at 310-966-7573