Schedule

Saturday, March 25, 2017

7:30-8:00 a.m.

Registration & light breakfast - sponsored by Optelec Canada Inc.

Location: Student commons

8:00-8:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Conference awards – sponsored by Chadwick Optical, Optelec Canada Inc. and Brook and Braddock

Location: 347

 8:15-10:00 a.m.

Lecture 1

Impact of Low Vision on Patients' Lives
Speaker: Melinda Szilva

Location: 347

Each year the Low Vision Clinic sees approximately 700 people for low vision rehabilitation. An ever-growing number of these individuals request optional counselling services as part of their rehabilitation. This talk will highlight some of the most common issues that clients with low vision present with in counselling appointments. It will also cover how a combination of psychotherapy, referral to community support services & the therapeutic alliance can help make a difference.

Importance of Vision Rehabilitation & Impact on Quality of Life

Speaker: Jennifer Urosevic

Location: 347

CNIB has embarked on significant change through their Vision Rehabilitation services throughout this past year.  Through the implementation of a client centered approach to service delivery, we are now measuring client outcomes using evidence based outcome evaluation tools.

​Models of Low Vision Rehabilitation and a Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Approach to Low Vision Rehabilitation. Speaker: Dr. Susan Leat

Location: 347

This talk will describe the variability of low vision services and funding across Canada and the need for a made-in Canada model of low vision rehabilitation. It will review some of the evidence for different models and present a potential model that is being considered in Ontario.

10:00-10:15 a.m.

Break – sponsored by the University of Waterloo of Optometry Clinics

Location: 347 Lobby area

10:15-11:15 a.m.

Parallel seminars

Seminar 1: Review of the Low Vision Assessment & Application of Magnification.  Speaker: Dr. Tammy Labreche

Location: 1129

This presentation will review the fundamental aspects of a low vision assessment in addition to discussion of appropriate selection of initial power of optical aid.

Seminar 2: Eye Structure, Visual Pathways & Functional Impact of Common Disorders of the Visual System. Speaker: Dr. Mark Bona 

Location: 347

This lecture will explore a variety of common ocular conditions that cause vision loss, how they affect the different parts of the visual system, and the types of functional deficits that result

11:15-12:15 p.m.

Parallel seminars

Seminar 3: Technology for People with Vision Impairments. Speakers: Julia Foster & Mark Nicol

Location: 1129

Individuals with vision loss often use technology for various aspects of their lives, including (but not limited to) education, work, leisure, community access, and independence at home. This presentation will use cases to explore a selection of the technologies available, with a focus on built-in accessibility features of mainstream devices, as well as new devices that combine familiar assistive technology features and the potential for added functionality

Seminar 4: Technology in the Classroom - Elementary through Post-Secondary Education. Speakers: Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai & Danika Blackstock

Location: 347

Many learning needs of students with disabilities can be accommodated with the creative adaptation of mainstream and off-the-shelf technology or equipment. The range of possible technological solutions using off the shelf or mainstream technology is enormous; in this presentation, we will provide some illustrative case studies, alongside a perspective on how best to evolve the most effective mainstream solutions, and a brief discussion of some student challenges when deciding how and when to use such solutions.

12:15-2:15 p.m.

Lunch & Trade Show

Location: Student commons

Exhibitors:

  • Balance for Blind Adults
  • Canadialog
  • Canadian Council for the Blind
  • Canadian Helen Keller Centre
  • Centre for Sight Enhancement
  • CNIB
  • Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences
  • Enhanced Vision
  • Eschenbach
  • eSight
  • Frontier Computing
  • Humanware
  • LS&S
  • Microcomputer Science Centre Inc.
  • Optelec Canada Inc.
  • Orcam
  • W. Ross MacDonald School

2:15-3:15 p.m.

Keynote Address 1: Dr. Walter Wittich

​Dual Sensory Rehabilitation: Evidence-Based Practice & Knowledge Translation as our Guide

Location: 347

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the concept of Knowledge Translation, using a model promoted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and applies this model to the existing research literature in deafblindness. The talk will review some of the pertinent research findings in the field of deafblindness rehabilitation, and how this research can link to and influence rehabilitation practice for clinicians working with individuals affected by combined vision and hearing loss.

3:30-5:30 p.m.

Collaborative care cases.

Location: Student commons

5:30-6:00 p.m. Reception

6:00-7:00 p.m.

George Woo Lecture: Dr. Joan Stelmack

Outcomes of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Low Vision Intervention Trials

Location: 347

This presentation will describe two multicenter clinical trials conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to determine the effectiveness of different low vision programs for patients with macular diseases. In both studies, changes in patients’ visual reading ability measured with the 48-item Veterans Affairs Low-Vision Visual Functioning Questionnaire from baseline to 4 months later was the primary outcome measure.

The first study, LOVIT, evaluated the effectiveness of a fully comprehensive low vision rehabilitation program compared to a waiting-list control group. The second study, LOVIT II, was conducted to determine if low vision devices with low vision rehabilitation (including therapy and homework to teach device use, eccentric viewing, and environmental modification) is more effective than basic low vision (devices dispensed without therapy). This lecture presents the outcomes from these studies.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

7:30-8:00 a.m.

Registration & light breakfast

Location: Student commons

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Parallel seminars

Seminar 1: Vision & Falls. Speakers: Dr. Susan LeatAmie Peddle & Dr. Colleen McGrath

Location: 347

Falls are a concern, as the personal and health care costs are high. The incidence of falls increases with age and is associated with poor vision. This presentation will describe the many risk factors for falls, and the contribution of vision to falls risk. Assessment and prevention measures will be described, in a multidisciplinary setting.

Seminar 2: Vision & Driving. Speakers: Dr. Tammy Labreche & Shah Baqar

Location: 1129

This presentation will provide a brief overview of the impact of visual issues on driving, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's vision requirements for driving, and details about the Functional Vision Waiver Assessment for individuals with visual field loss looking to regain licensure.

9:00-10:00 a.m.

Lecture 2

Acquired Brain Injuries: Impact, Assessment & Management
Speakers: Dr. Tammy Labreche & Sherry Rock

Location: 347

There is a growing population of individuals surviving an acquired brain injury (ABI).  The complications associated with ABI may be numerous.  In addition to other sequelae, visual concerns further complicate rehabilitation. This presentation will describe how collaboration between health professionals assists with rehabilitation of those individuals who have experienced an ABI.

10:00-10:15 a.m.

Canadian Low Vision Achievement Award

Location: 347

Presented to Dr. Graham Strong

10.15–10.30 a.m.

Break

Location: 347 Lobby area

10:30-12:15 a.m.

Parallel workshops

Workshop A: Advanced Magnification. Facilitators: Dr. Ana Juricic & Dr. Henry Greene

Location: 309

This workshop will look at prescribing bioptics.  Cases will be reviewed and there will be an opportunity for hands-on fitting.

Workshop B: Training with Magnification and Eccentric Viewing. Facilitators: Dr. Susan Leat & Rhiannon Verran & Niki Harper

Location: 1129

This workshop will cover when EV viewing should be considered and then a variety of ways of determining the best EV position and implementing the training will be described. We will also discuss training with near and distance optical aids (optical and scanning considerations). Then we will discuss the accessibility features of generic electronic devices (iPad, iPhone) which are useful for people with visual impairment. Lastly, we will review some of the hand-held video devices that are available.

Workshop C: Fitting Field Enhancement Devices. Facilitator: Dr. Shamrozé Khan

Location: 350

This workshop provides instruction on fitting the most common optical visual field enhancement devices. Particular focus is on reverse telescopes and minifiers for constricted fields, and prism for hemianopic or quadranopic field loss.

Workshop D: Training with Field Enhancement Devices. Facilitators: Dr. Tammy Labreche & Heidi Panchaud

Location: 439

This workshop will review a step-by-step strategy for training individuals on the use of various field enhancement devices.  It is comprised of both a brief lecture and hands-on component.

12:15-1:30 p.m.

Lunch and Art Exhibits

Location: Student commons

1:30-2:30 p.m.

Keynote Address 2: Dr. Anne Riddering

Alphabet Soup: Interdisciplinary Teamwork and Collaboration in Vision Rehabilitation

Location: 347

2:30-4:35 p.m.

Vision Rehabilitation Grand Rounds.

Location: 347

Panel: Mark Bona, Beth Conley-Edwards, Julia Foster, John Haney, Susan Leat, Rachel Stinson, Jennifer Urosevic

4:50 p.m. Close

Keynote Speakers

Walter Wittich, PhD, FAAO, CLVT

Saturday, 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Dual Sensory Rehabilitation: Evidence-Based Practice & Knowledge Translation as our Guide

Walter Wittich smilingDr. Walter Wittich is an Assistant Professor at the School of Optometry at the University of Montreal, in Montreal, Quebec, who currently holds a Junior Career Award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (chercheur boursier junior 1), with specific focus on the rehabilitation of older adults with combined vision and hearing loss. He is a resident researcher at both the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre and the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille.  Following his Master’s in Psychology (Concordia U) and a PhD in Visual Neuroscience (McGill), he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in audiology at the Centre de recherche institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal. Coming from a background in age-related vision loss, he now conducts research in dual sensory impairment and acquired deaf-blindness.  His research domains include basic sensory science, as well as medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitation approaches to sensory loss.  He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and is Quebec’s first Certified Low Vision Therapist.

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Joan Stelmack, OD, MPH

Saturday, 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Headshot of Joan StelmackDr. Stelmack received her OD from Illinois College of Optometry and her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is Clinical Associate Professor at the Eye and Infirmary and Director of the Low Vision Service.  At the  Hines VA Hospital, Dr. Stelmack serves as Co-Director of the Optometry Residency in Ocular Disease/Low Vision Rehabilitation, Preceptor of a Low Vision Rehabilitation Rotation for ICO students, Supervisor of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic and Director of the Low Vision Research Program. She is also a faculty member at the Illinois College of Optometry.

Her research is focused on rehabilitation outcomes and includes two multi-center randomized Low Vision Intervention Trials (LOVIT and LOVIT II) to evaluate the effectiveness of low vision outpatient services.  Dr. Stelmack has served on study sections for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Eye Institute and on advisory committees for these organizations as well as the American Public Health Association and the American Optometric Association. 

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Anne Riddering, PhD, OTR/L, CLVT, COMS

​Sunday, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Alphabet Soup: Interdisciplinary Teamwork and Collaboration in Vision Rehabilitation

Head shot of Anne RidderingAnne Riddering is the Director of Rehabilitation Services for Henry Ford Health System’s Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center of Michigan.  She has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences from Western Michigan University.  She has been an occupational therapist, orientation and mobility specialist, and a certified low vision therapist working with adults with visual impairments for over 20 years. 

Anne has served as the secretary/treasurer for Association for Education and Vision Rehabilitation Professionals for the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) Division 7 (Low Vision Rehabilitation Division), as a member of the Division 7 Awards Nomination Committee, AER’s by-laws committee, and a licensure task force.  Anne is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired.  She currently has been appointed by the governor of Michigan to the board of Michigan Council of Rehabilitation Services and serves on the Executive Board.

Anne’s research interests include low vision, the impact of chronic conditions and every day functioning of the older adult population with vision impairment. Her other interests within the low vision population include environmental modifications, sports participation and return-to-work adaptations.  She is also currently the program coordinator for the low vision rehabilitation graduate certificate program for OTs at Western Michigan University. She has authored numerous articles in the Journal of Vision Impairment and Blindness, and in occupational therapy publications, including chapters in Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults with Low Vision (Editors M. Warren & E. A. Barstow) and Preparing for the Occupational Therapy National Board Exam: 45 Days and Counting (Editors R. Miller and Pellerito).

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Speakers & Workshop Leaders

Shah Baqar, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Seminar: Vision & Driving

Headshot of Mr. BaqarShah Baqar is a registered Occupational Therapist in Ontario and a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist who has worked in the field of Driver Rehab for the over 6 years. He completed a Graduate Certificate in Assessing Driving Capabilities through McGill University in 2010. He is a member of the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapist and the Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists. He works for Saint Elizabeth Driver Assessment & Training Services.

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Danika Blackstock

Saturday, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Seminar: Technology in the Classroom - Elementary through Post-Secondary Education.

Danika blackstock photoDanika Blackstock is a third year Honours Social Development Studies student, specializing in Social work, Individual Well-being and Development, and Social Policy and Social Action at the University of Waterloo. She lost her vision at two and a half due to a stroke during open heart surgery. She has worked as a CNIB Summer Day Camp staff, and volunteers at a Senior Long-Term Care facility. At the University of Waterloo Danika is active on the AccessAbility Advisory Committee. Danika is passionate about ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to all aspects of society, and knows how much technology can level the playing field for those with visual impairments. She wishes to pursue a social work career that focuses either in the medical field or accessibility and equal rights.

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Mark Bona MD, FRCSC

Saturday, 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Seminar: Eye Structure, Visual Pathways & Functional Impact of Common Disorders of the Visual System

Dr Mark Bona pictureDr. Bona is an eye physician and surgeon at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston, Ontario. He serves as an Assistant Professor at Queen's University in the Department of Ophthalmology as well as the School of Rehabilitation Therapy.  On completion of his ophthalmology residency at Queen's University, Dr. Bona undertook a travelling fellowship Low Vision Rehabilitation. He is currently providing patient care and student education in the field of vision rehabilitation. His research interests surround competency based medical education as well as new service delivery models for low vision rehabilitation.

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Julia Foster, OT Reg. (Ont.), MScOT

​Saturday, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Seminar: Technology for People with Vision Impairments

Julia foster photoJulia is an occupational therapist and ADP authorizer for high-tech visual aids at the Vision Technology Service within the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) at OCAD University. In her role, Julia works with both ADP-funded and privately-funded clients to provide assessment, funding authorization, and recommendations related to assistive technology for individuals with low vision or blindness, including those who also have physical and/or cognitive limitations. Julia is also the coordinator for the Special Needs Opportunity Window (SNOW) online resource on inclusive education and technology. Outside of the IDRC, Julia Foster is a sessional in ergonomics in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education and an adjunct lecturer within the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. Outside of work, Julia volunteers with the International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation (ICDR).

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Henry A. Greene, OD, FAAO

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Advanced Magnification

head shot of Dr. GreeneAfter his graduation from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in 1974, Dr. Greene first practiced in New York City as a staff member at the Helen Keller Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and trained in Low Vision Care under Dr. George Hellinger. After moving to Buffalo, NY, he became a staff optometrist at Group Health, Inc. and at the Blind Association of Western New York. He established Academy Eye Associates after moving to Durham, NC in 1980, and in 1984 co-founded Ocutech, a developer of vision aids for the visually impaired. He joined the ophthalmology faculty at UNC School of Medicine in 1991 where he developed the vision rehabilitation service and rose to the rank of clinical professor.

At Ocutech, Dr. Greene has been the principal investigator on over $1.5 million in NIH (US) and Ontario (Canada) Ministry of Health grant funding to develop low vision aids and has received numerous awards for his work.  Dr. Greene is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and texts and presents lectures and courses nationally and internationally on managing the needs of the visually impaired.  In 1999 Dr. Greene with his colleagues at Ocutech received the Winston Gordon Award presented by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. In 2008 he received the William Feinbloom Career Achievement Award, one of Optometry’s highest honors, from the American Academy of Optometry for his work in visual impairment.

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Niki Harper, CVRT

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Training with Magnification and Eccentric Viewing.

Niki harper photoNiki Harper has worked as an Independent Living Skills instructor at CNIB for the last 12 years.  She started her career in Edmonton, Alberta and took a transfer to Brandon, MB in 2009.  In 2011 she completed her Low Vision Certificate and has been working as a dual since that time.  Recently Niki completed her CVRT certificate through ACVREP

 

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Ana M. Juricic, OD

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Advanced Magnification

Ana juricic photoDr. Juricic is a leader and educator in the field of Low Vision. She practices as a Low Vision Optometrist in an ophthalmology practice in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Juricic completed her optometric training at the University of Waterloo.

 

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Shamrozé Khan, OD, FAAO

​Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Fitting Field Enhancement Devices

Shamrozé Khan photoShamrozé Khan obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Waterloo in 2007, and completed a double residency in Low Vision Rehabilitation and Ocular Disease at the Illinois College of Optometry in 2008. She then entered private practice in Ontario, where she practiced full scope optometry including low vision care for almost a decade.  She joined the Faculty of the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science as Assistant Clinical Professor in November 2016.  Dr. Khan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, and published author of several articles on visual rehabilitation and geriatric care.

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Tammy Labreche, BSc, OD

Saturday, 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Seminar: Review of the Low Vision Assessment & Application of Magnification

Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Seminar: Vision & Driving

Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Lecture: Acquired Brain Injuries: Impact, Assessment & Management

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Training with Field Enhancement Devices

Head shot of Tammy LabrecheTammy Labreche is a clinical associate professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. A graduate of the University of Waterloo, Dr. Labreche has earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Doctor of Optometry degree and a residency diploma in Low vision and Geriatrics. Dr. Labreche joined the faculty at Waterloo in 2004 following several years in private practice. She provides patient care and student education in the areas of low vision in association with the university’s Centre for Sight Enhancement (CSE). She is Head of Habilitation Services at the School's Clinic and the Director of the CSE.  Her clinical expertise and scholarship interests address areas of low vision rehabilitation, neuro-optometric rehabilitation, fall prevention and geriatric vision outreach.

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Susan J. Leat, BSc, PhD, FCOptom, FAAO

Saturday, 8:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. ​Lecture: Models of Low Vision Rehabilitation Provision and Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Holistic Approach to Low Vision Rehabilitation

Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Seminar: Vision & Falls

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Training with Magnification & EV

Head shot of Susan LeatProfessor Susan Leat graduated in Optometry from the University of Manchester, UK. She obtained her PhD and undertook post-doctoral studies at Cardiff University. She was founder of the Cardiff University Low Vision Clinic and instrumental in establishing the Special Assessment Clinic in Cardiff University. In 1991 she took up a Faculty position in the University of Waterloo, Canada where she is now a Professor, a clinician in the Paediatric and Special Needs Clinic and Low Vision Clinic, and Head of Residencies. She teaches and conducts research in low vision, gerontology, paediatrics, psychophysics, visual development and developmental disabilities. She is an Adjunct Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute, a Fellow of the College of Optometrists (UK), a member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario, a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Optometry and immediate past-Chair of the American Academy of Optometry SIG on Vision in Aging. She co-authored “Assessing Children’s Vision – A Handbook”  in 1999 and more recently is a co-editor of “Paediatric Vision Care: Current practice and future challenges”.  She has published over 65 papers in peer reviewed journals, several book chapters, and given over 200 research conference presentations and invited addresses on topics of low vision, pediatric vision and aging.

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Colleen McGrath, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.)

Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Seminar: Vision & Falls

Head shot of colleen McGrathDr. McGrath is a registered Occupational Therapist. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Western Ontario. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship with the NCE-funded AGE-WELL (Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life) Network. Her research interests focus on environmental influences on occupational engagement for older adults with age-related vision loss (ARVL), the situated nature of risk in older adulthood, the intersection of ageism and ableism in shaping the identities of older adults, and the decision-making processes of older adults with ARVL as it relates to technology acquisition and use.

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Mark Nicol, HSWD

Saturday, 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Seminar: Technology for People with Vision Impairments

Mark nicol photoMark Nicol is an Adaptive Technology Specialist with CNIB on Vancouver Island and is training as a Low Vision Specialist. In those roles, he seeks to open doors with technology or optical aids and through skills training. Outside of work, Mark is an avid photographer and traveler.

 

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Heidi Panchaud, CVRT

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Training with Field Enhancement Devices.

Heidi panchaud pictureHeidi Panchaud is the Low Vision Therapist at the School of Optometry and Vision Science.  Heidi has a diploma in Business Administration – Management Studies and post-graduate certificate as an Instructor for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Heidi received her certification as a Visual Rehabilitation Therapist in 2009. Heidi has been with the Centre for Sight Enhancement for 9 years and prior to that, Heidi worked as part of a Vision Resource team with the Waterloo Region District School Board, as an Educational Assistant and Braillist.

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Amie Peddle, COMS

Sunday, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Seminar: Vision & Falls

Amie is an Independent Living Skills Specialist and Orientation & Mobility Specialist for CNIB. She has worked at CNIB for the past 8 years as a Dual Specialist in the Outreach Program. Amie has an undergraduate degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Brock University.  She completed two post graduate certificates in Instructor for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Rehabilitation Teaching and Orientation & Mobility through Mohawk College.  Amie has presented on topics such as working with individuals with vision loss and additional functional needs, Independent Living skills, Orientation and Mobility skills, and accessibility.  She has also provided training to Occupational Therapy students at McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario.  

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Sherry Rock, OT Reg. (Ont)

Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Lecture: Acquired Brain Injuries: Impact, Assessment & Management

head shot of Sherry RockSherry Rock is an Occupational Therapist who works at Grand River Hospital- Freeport Campus in the Outpatient NeuroRehabilitation Clinic. She holds a Master of Clinical Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Western Ontario and an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Kinesiology from Wilfrid Laurier University.  She has over 14 years of experience working with clients with stroke and other neurological diagnoses in both outpatient and inpatient settings and she has taken numerous cognitive and perceptual courses related to acquired brain injuries. Sherry is trained in the Neuro-Developmental Treatment approach  and is completing the process to become an NDTA™ Occupational Therapy instructor.  Her passion is working with clients with acquired brain injuries and their families to help clients maximize their independence in completing everyday activities within their home and in the community.

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Melinda Szilva, MTS, CCC, RP

Saturday, 8:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Lecture: Impact of Low Vision on Patients' Lives

headshot of Melinda SzilvaMelinda graduated from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts.  She worked with clients with developmental and physical disabilities, including visual impairments for the first six years of her career. She later went on to complete her master’s degree in Theology & Counselling at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario in 2002.  Melinda is a Registered Psychotherapist and a Canadian Certified Counsellor.  She has done clinical training in marriage & family therapy, chaplaincy and smoking cessation counselling.  Melinda has extensive experience in student services, not for profit management and counselling.  Melinda has been employed as a Low Vision Rehabilitation Counsellor for the Centre for Sight Enhancement at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science since 2011. 

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Jennifer Urosevic, COMS

Saturday, 8:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Lecture: Importance of Vision Rehabilitation & Impact on Quality of Life

Jennifer Urosevic a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist and is the Senior Director, Program Development and Evaluation for CNIB. She has worked at CNIB for the past 18 years in varies roles including Orientation & Mobility Specialist, Early Intervention Specialist and in Regional management roles. Jennifer has an undergraduate degree in Child Studies & Physical Education from Brock University and Early Childhood Education from Lambton College.  She completed her post graduate certificate in Instructor for the Blind and Visually Impaired: Orientation & Mobility through Mohawk College.  Jennifer has presented across Canada and the United States at Conferences on topics related to early skills in Orientation and Mobility, accessibility, youth programs and Pathways to Vision Rehabilitation.  

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Rhiannon Verran, BSc, OC(C), COMT

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Workshop: Training with Magnification and Eccentric Viewing.

Rhiannon verron photoRhiannon Verran is a Certified Orthoptist, Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist, and a CNIB Low Vision Specialist. After working as an orthoptist for 5 years in the U.S. and Canada, she began her new role as a Low Vision Specialist with the CNIB in Halifax over 5 years ago. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a post graduate certificate in orthoptics through Dalhousie University’s Clinical Vision Science Program. 

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