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Establishing a low vision practice in Alberta, Canada

1 May 1996


As the population ages there are more and more individuals who can benefit from low vision services. Many optometrists, including the ones in Alberta Canada, are discouraged from low vision due to its complexity and time consuming nature. To outline the requirements for a successful low vision practice in Alberta it was necessary, along with a comprehensive literature search, to obtain information from the Alberta Association of Optometrists and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). To be a registered provider of low vision services and to be billed appropriately the practitioner must include specific procedures in the low vision exam and possess the required low vision equipment. It is also necessary to adapt the office for low vision patients to allow them more independence and comfort. To supplement the care provided by the optometrist, a low vision patient can also receive assistance from a few social service organizations including the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) which offer extensive low vision care. The CNIB are also responsible to register all legally blind individuals in Alberta. Select low vision patients who do not meet the medical standards for driving in Alberta may be eligible for a conditional drivers licensee upon approval from Alberta's medical review board.


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