Individuals who are born with a visual impairment such as Albinism or who develop it in their younger years such as Stargardt’s Disease are disadvantaged in their ability to maximize their academic, occupational and social lives.
Distance vision is our SOCIAL SENSE. We use it to make eye contact, read body language, and to interact with the world around us.
While reading may be the first issue that visually impaired individuals will notice, it is not the only factor that will impact their lives, their personal potential, and even their happiness. Reduced distance vision reduces one’s independence and confines individuals both in their geographic area but also in their ability to increase their personal and economic opportunities. A low vision telescope magnifies the retinal image making things more visible and can provide near-normal visual acuity. When the telescope is attached to the top of eyeglasses, called a bioptic, the user can quickly, easily and conveniently alternate their vision between their normal vision
and that of the telescope, providing sharp vision when they need it. The more natural the use of any device, the more readily it will be used. While a handheld telescope will also provide the same visual acuity, it is not nearly as convenient to use and as a result they are not used to nearly as great an amount or benefit, as is a bioptic telescope. New bioptic telescope designs are very much easier to fit and demonstrate.
No one wants to look unusual. New designs of bioptic telescopes, especially the Ocutech VES-Sport, provide a modern hi-tech appearance making them much more acceptable to wear. The development of high-tech digital devices like the Google-Glass make modern-looking devices attached to eyeglasses much more common around the world. While bioptic telescopes are more expensive than handheld monocular devices, the benefit they provide for the user’s schooling, work, travel, and social life, contributes very much more value to the user than the cost of the device itself. In the same way that we invest in our children’s education, we must also invest in the aids that enable these children to take full advantage of the educational programs provided to them.
Investing in bioptics at an early age gives individuals with visual impairment the capability to maximize opportunities and reach their full potential.