Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Results of a study by Casten et al., (2005) confirmed low rates of use of devices and services for low vision by the older adult. Older adults with low vision are receptive to using low vision resources but are often unaware of them (Lighthouse International, 2021). Casten et al. (2005) further suggested that the lack of services or use of devices may be due to a lack of awareness of health care professionals. Low vision assistive devices (LVAD), whether high or low tech, or mainstream, can help maximize a client’s vision so that they can perform everyday tasks more easily and with less frustration (Duffy, 2017) and increase the likelihood of being able to age in place.

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to educate practitioners on the effectiveness of interventions and pieces of assistive technology within the occupational therapy scope of practice to improve performance in daily activities at home for older adults with low vision.

Theoretical Framework: This capstone was supported by the Adult Learning theory and The Conceptual Model of Occupational Therapy in Low Vision (Schoessow, 2010). These theories interact equally to support education on LVAD so that a person with low vision can function as independently as possible.

Methods: This project was designed and implemented to provide professional development on current LVAD and local community resources to home health practitioners to increase their knowledge. The project was completed though a professional development module to inform practitioners of the most current best practices to help those with low vision remain as independent as possible with self-care skills in the home and community environments. Before and after the professional development module, pre and post survey data were collected to evaluate the participants’ knowledge level of identification of low vision client’s and the use of LVAD and resources and determine the change in their knowledge after the module. The goal of the professional development in-service was to not only increase the participants’ knowledge of LVAD and resources but also to reinforce occupational therapy’s role with this population.

Results: This capstone project was conducted with eleven healthcare practitioners to provide education on LVAD, interventions and resources to healthcare practitioners with focus on the home care setting. Quantitative analysis of the data revealed that the objectives of the study were met. Mean scores improved from the pre to posttest, where pre-test questions ranged from 1.82 to 2.91 and the post-test questions ranged from 3.73 to 4.45, for an average of 2.14 or 42.8%. The participant responses to the open-ended questions were positive and indicated understanding and growth in realm of LVAD, interventions, and resources. Based on these findings, the educational presentation provided to home healthcare clinicians was found to increase home care clinicians’ knowledge of LVAD, interventions and resources.

Conclusion: This researcher found evidence connecting this study to the past literature involving LVAD, interventions and resources. The capstone objectives were met by the participants’ demonstration of knowledge and perceptions and finally educating practitioners about the realm of low vision. This capstone helps to fill a gap in the literature involving the need for greater education on low vison.

Faculty Mentor

Allen Keener, OTD, MS, OTR/L, ATP

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Julie Duckart, PhD., OTR/L

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy


Acknowledgements: There are many individuals I would like to recognize for their support and encouragement throughout the past two and half years. My family members have stepped up and taken over household responsibilities so that I could complete my schoolwork. My son, Blake, who gave me technology advice and assisted me with technology complications. I want to thank my departed Grandmother Bemis, who encouraged and supported me emotionally and financially since the beginning of my college career. Thank you to my Mother, Rosalyn, daughter and son-in-law, Brittany and Levi Pierce, Aunt Bonnie, and Cousin Angie for their long-distance emotional support. And a special thank you to my dog, Isabella and cats, Amaretto and Smokey, for being by my side during my seemingly never-ending accounts of reading and writing. Likewise, I would thank my clinical supervisor, Jayne’ Bell, who granted me permission to conduct my professional development session. Without her permission, this capstone project would not have taken place. Thank you to my co-workers who supported me by participating in the professional development session and completing the surveys. And thank you to my past co-worker, Subha Balagopal for supporting me as my mentor for my ALE. Additionally, I would like to thank my faculty mentor, Dr. Allen Keener, for his assistance, patience and support in development of this project. Thank you for all your time and effort to help me develop a plan, proofread, and correct all my writings and presentations. I would also like to thank my committee chair member, Dr. Julie, Duckart, for her assistance with making my charts beautiful and APA compliant. Finally, I would like to thank all the Eastern Kentucky faculty involved in the post-professional occupational therapy doctorate program who have been patient, thoughtful and taught me so much. I have learned and grown more than words can express past two and a half years. “Anyone who stops learning is old. Whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” ~Henry Ford

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)