Disability Types - Patients Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

People who are blind (PWB) are often perceived as being incompetent with common tasks and functions (by healthcare providers). For patients, this erodes their trust and satisfaction in healthcare. A quarter of people who are blind & younger than 65 report difficulty in finding a provider they are satisfied with. For Medicare beneficiaries who are blind, this patient group is less satisfied with the following than patients who are not blind, availability of services, ease of access, costs, and patients to disengage from their own healthcare and preventive care.

Target Audience

This course is designed for nurse practitioners, nurses, and other health care professionals who seek improved quality of care for the patients.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Explain what blindness and low vision are and their corresponding diagnoses will be recognized, and appropriate care will be provided.
  • Ensure patient safety, comfort, and improved outcomes for those that are blind or have low vision
  • Identify symptoms of potential vision loss in order to implement patient safety and outcomes, insuring better health and cost-savings to all parties.
  • Identify and locate common accommodation approaches and tools at appropriate levels and commensurate to each patient’s individual needs and preferences.
  • Improve diagnosis and access to resources
  • Identify some key features of Blindness and Low Vision that might affect health care in order to build patient trust and improving patient-centered care and shared decision-making with the healthcare team and patient.
  • Categorize and discern the methods for providing effective communication (and identify approaches to communication) with patients who are Blind or have Low Vision
  • Improve effective communication, adherence to ADA law; and improved patient trust and autonomy.
  • Implementation of appropriate communication accommodations and implementation of resources due to effective communication.
  • Find the apps on the Effective Communication iPads that would be useful for patients with vision disabilities; & they will be able to locate and obtain the Effective Communication Toolkit; Blind/ Low Vision Toolkit; and/ or Assistive Listening Toolkit(s), as needed, and understand their applications, which will be tailored to the patient’s needs, preferences, diagnoses, disabilities, and goals/ plan of care.
  • Describe (and then, implement) the Sighted Guide Technique, which will improve patient safety and satisfaction.
  • Apply their knowledge to caring for patients who are Blind or have Low Vision, so that there is an improved patient satisfaction, safety, and reduction in adverse events and incidents, and to prompt regular clinical conversations with all patients about their disabilities/ diagnoses and related needs.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.50 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Planning Committee:
Ashli Molinero, DSc - Director, UPMC Disabilities Resource Center at UPMC

Course Directors:
Kaitlin A Kerr, RN, MSN - Clinical Educator for Disability Awareness - Disabilities Resources Center at UPMC

Conflict of Interest Disclosure:
No planners, members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships to disclose.

In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Nursing (CNE)
The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 1.5 contact hours.

Other health care professionals will receive a certificate of attendance confirming the number of contact hours commensurate with the extent of participation in this activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 1.50 Attendance
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