The Drews Low Vision Clinic is the clinical low vision program of St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired and is housed inside the Society’s facility. The Clinic is named after the father – son ophthalmologist’s who have provided leadership and guidance to the Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired as members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board since the early 1950’s.
|LIGHTING & LAMPS
Staffed by a Low Vision Optometrist and Certified Low Vision Therapists, the Low Vision Clinic provides full functional vision assessments to determine if there are prescriptive or non-prescriptive vision aids which may help a person best utilize the remaining sight they have. This exam compliments the individual’s primary eye doctor's medical exam by looking at how the visual functioning may be enhanced. If an exam by the Society's doctor is not indicated or desired, the Low Vision Therapists can assist a person with identifying and training in the use of non-prescriptive aids, such as magnifiers, lighting and lamps, computers and other devices which enlarge regular print onto larger screens. Appointments are required for both services.
|HANDS FREE MAGNIFIER
||HAND HELD MAGNIFIER
The Society carries over 250 different low vision and adaptive living aids. All strengths of magnifiers are available with or without lights, some are hands free while others are hand held. In addition, monocular and telescopic aids are available for near and distance viewing. Larger and more expensive aids are available for demonstration, sale or rental and include lamps and CCTV electronic screen magnification reading devices. Low Vision Aids are provided for those unable to afford needed equipment with CCTV’s available on loan or monthly rental basis.
Appointment needed for low vision aids.
|SCREEN MAGNIFYING SOFTWARE
(Computer Technology, Internet and E-Mail) In addition to magnifiers and other low vision devices, a number of computer programs are available for demonstration and training. Some programs enlarge material onto computer screens and can be modified to various sizes of magnification making it easier to use e-mail, the internet or other computer work. Additional programs may bring the printed word on a computer screen to speech (screen reading software) or serve as complete reading machines whereby printed words can be scanned and read aloud by a voice program. Screen reader software enables a computer to “talk” and say everything which is visually seen on the screen.
Appointments needed for demonstration and ongoing training. Training may be provided at the Society’s facility or in-home.
A $20 fee is requested to see the Society’s Low Vision Specialist, if follow-up appointment is needed or requested there is no additional fee. Fees are waived for those unable to afford the $20 as the Society is committed to making services available to all individuals in need.
Due to the ongoing cost of being up-to-date in technology a sliding scale fee structure based on income and expenses is utilized for ongoing training, with some sources available to pay for such training.
Low vision and other independent living home aids may range in cost from a few dollars to up to $3,000 for specialized electronic view devices.
Financial support is available to assist with the purchasing of the more expensive items, as well as some being available on a monthly rental basis or long-term loan basis. Thanks to our donors, additional support for those needing necessary low vision aids are made available at no cost to the individual as may be needed.
Dr. Becky Lory, OD, Low Vision Specialist
Gail Beard, CLVT, CVRT
Linda Barbier-Bularzik, CVLT
Mildred Eads, CVLT, CVRT
Kendra Hjorth, CVLT, COMS
Jenn West, OTD, OTR/L
Contact the Society at 314-968-9000 or send us an email
To See Other Society Vision Rehabilitation Services or to go to the Society’s Home Page Click here
Under the guidance and leadership of Dr. Robert Drews, and recognizing the growing needs of older adults experiencing age-related vision loss, the Society established a low vision clinic in 1989. Beginning with services by an Optometrist ½ day per week and one other staff person, the referrals and need for additional services continually grew to where the Society slowly expanded services and in 2009 went to a full-time clinic with one Low Vision Specialist (Optometrist) and four Certified Low Vision Therapists.
Dr. Leslie Drews was a prominent ophthalmologist who joined the Society for the Blind’s Board of Directors in 1953 and served until he passed away in 1961 at the height of his career. During his time as a member of the Society’s Board Directors he provided crucial leadership and gave counsel related to blindness and vision loss.
Dr. Leslie Drews did his undergraduate and medical school training at Washington University. He became a member of the St. Louis University Department of Ophthalmology in 1929 and co-chaired it from 1953 – 1956. Dr. Leslie Drews was appointed to the staff of Washington University from 1956 – 1961 as Associate Professor. He served on the staffs of 11 area hospitals.
Dr. Leslie Drews was elected to the American Ophthalmological Society in 1942 at the remarkably young age of 37, and published a number of papers during his illustrious and meaningful career.
Dr. Robert C. Drews is the son of renowned ophthalmologist Dr. Leslie Drews and was a member of the Society’s Board of Directors from 1962 and served until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure he served as Chair of the Board twice and continues to be an active member of the Society’s Advisory Board.
Knowing the needs of older adults experiencing age-related vision loss, under Dr. Robert Drews guidance and leadership, the Society added “Visually Impaired” to the name in 1986 and established the first Low Vision Clinic in 1989.
In addition to authoring nearly 500 publications, Prof. Drews has served on the editorial committee of Ophthalmology and numerous other ophthalmic peer-reviewed publications. He has been a popular invited lecturer and visiting professor all over the world and has lectured and taught advanced ophthalmic microsurgical techniques and intraocular lens implantation. Dr. Drews has received many awards for his professional and civic activities, including the Washington University's School of Medicine’s highest distinction, The Second Century Award.
Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired
8770 Manchester Rd. St. Louis, MO 63144
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