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According to An Optometrist's Guide to Clinical Ethics, "optometrists must serve as patient advocates and help their patients receive the best available care." This means we must be up-to-date with requirements through the United States Social Security Administration and how to direct patients towards receiving disability benefits.
"] Visual field testing revealed constricted visual fields in both eyes.
The right eye's widest diameter of visual field was 15 degrees; the left eye's visual field was constricted at the top (superior) and at the bottom (inferior), but was a full 54 degrees side to side (horizontally).
After discussing at length the potential benefits of low vision services to improve her employment opportunities and quality of life, our patient was greatly thankful for our advocacy and was optimistic about maximizing functionality of her vision.
Some early eighteenth and twentieth century prisons were proponents of rehabilitative policies.
She provided physical documentation of this diagnosis in the form of a letter from her previous ophthalmologist, which stated that she was legally blind. As optometrists, we encounter situations in which we need to appropriately draw the line between patients with low vision and patients who can be defined as legally blind.
Although she desired the benefits she had previously received, it was clear that she did not qualify as "legally blind" per the U. The law defines legal blindness for public safety reasons (driving) as well as determining eligibility for disability benefits funded by the government.
In addition to monetary assistance, the government-funded programs for people with legal blindness (the Social Security Disability Insurance program and the Supplemental Security Income program) can also provide services including audio, large print, or braille resources.
The Americans with Disabilities Act allows reasonable accommodations by employers to allow for equal employment opportunity, such as closed-circuit televisions and screen magnifiers.
While these benefits are of great assistance to legally blind patients, there are many additional factors that factor into a patient's visual functionality aside from visual acuity and visual field (e.g. While a patient may not qualify under the United States Social Security Administration's guidelines, use of their low vision can still be equally as challenging if these additional hindrances are present.
As stated in the American Optometric Association Code of Ethics, one of our duties is "to advance professional knowledge and proficiency to maintain and expand competence to benefit our patients." Our job as optometrists is to ensure that patients who qualify for these services are diagnosed and directed to the appropriate resources that would allow for beneficial services, providing the highest quality of life possible.