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Southeast District Meeting February 2020
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM EDT
Category: District Meeting

Join us for the Southeast District's February meeting at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 

Non-TNOTA members can register for this event below to submit payment in order to receive their CEUs. This event is free for TNOTA members and $20 for non-members. 


District Meeting Registration
Title: Orientation and Mobility Instruction for People with Low Vision or Blindness     
Speaker Name: Larisa DeZayas, COMS     
Short Bio: Larisa DeZayas, COMS, joined the Signal Centers – Assistive Technology Services staff as a Vision Rehabilitation Specialist in 2018. She provides Orientation & Mobility (indoor and outdoor travel skills) instruction and support to clients who are living with low vision or blindness. Larisa is a Chattanooga native who graduated from the Center for Creative Arts (School for Performing Arts at Chattanooga High). She received her BA from the University of Toronto before becoming a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist at Mohawk College in Brantford, Ontario. Larisa then completed her internship at the Montreal Association of the Blind, the oldest blind rehabilitation center in Canada. Afterward she returned to the U.S. and worked in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as an O&M Specialist while raising her two children, Irena and Tris. Larisa brings back to Chattanooga over 20 years of experience teaching skills for independent mobility and daily living with people of all ages, in a wide variety of settings – in the schools, in homes, in assisted living facilities, in the community, and most recently 10 years at a VA Medical Center working with Veterans. Larisa believes success comes with patience, setting attainable and meaningful goals, starting with basics, using practical tools and strategies, educating and supporting family members and professionals, and providing clients with opportunities for practice. Ultimately, her goal is to offer people with vision impairments a chance to learn ways to be physically active and to feel connected to their communities.        


Brief Description of Presentation: This presentation will introduce the general service delivery models associated with blind rehabilitation services, especially in Orientation and Mobility (O&M). Basic information will be given on types of vision loss and the emotional adjustment process. A brief overview will be provided on professionals who work in the field of adult blind rehabilitation and discuss ways OT can contribute most effectively to a blind rehabilitation team. Present case stories and client journeys to regaining control over their lives through blind rehabilitation will be provided. Ongoing barriers to care for those who have experienced vision loss will be reviewed. The process of when and how to refer a patient to the local blind rehabilitation program and low vision services will be discussed.          

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the presentation, participations should be able to describe:   
1) The reasons a patient with vision loss would benefit from Orientation and Mobility assessment and instruction either in addition to any concurrent medication intervention or following treatment.    
2) The various ways a person can experience a reduction in functional vision and how the reduce functional vision potentially could affect their daily living skills and mobility.   
3) When and how to make a referral to non-medical blind/low vision rehabilitation services.       
Location: University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC)
Mapp Building
410 East 8th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Participants may park in Lot 56.