Warren Barstow Oculus AwardWarren, Barstow with Envision Oculus AwardOn June 1, 2018, Beth Barstow, PhD, OTR/L, SCTV, FAOTA, a low vision faculty member since 2004, became director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation. On the same day, Mary Warren, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, retired as director of the low vision program she founded in 2001.

Warren, an internationally known expert in the field of low vision rehabilitation, will continue as an adjunct faculty member of the certificate program and teach courses including Foundations in Vision Impairment from Brain Injury.

“There are high expectations for a program of this stature and I look forward to implementing some exciting ideas to make sure expectations are met and we continue to produce world class low vision practitioners,” said Barstow, who provided low vision rehabilitation services to older adults in Minnesota, Florida and Arizona prior to joining UAB. “Mary is the pre-eminent OT in the world addressing vision impairment for persons with brain injury and we are fortunate to have her continued involvement in the graduate certificate program.”

“I am grateful that I can remain a part of the UAB family, continue to teach the brain injury course, and contribute to the LVRCERT Café – the online community where our graduates are able to communicate and collaborate and nurture their professional growth in low vision rehabilitation,” said Warren, who also served as co-director of the UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation at the Callahan Eye Hospital. “Beth has made significant contributions to advancing the competence of occupational therapists in providing low vision rehabilitation and to the research on engaging older adults in physical activity to improve their quality of life. I couldn’t be leaving the program in better hands.”

Warren and Barstow have long collaborated to improve low vision rehabilitation at the educational and clinical levels.

Warren served as the chair of the panel that developed AOTA specialty certification in low vision rehabilitation and has represented AOTA on numerous ad hoc committees addressing issues in low vision rehabilitation. Barstow was a member of the AOTA panel that redesigned and simplified the specialty certification application and continues to serve as a low vision portfolio reviewer.

In 2011, they co-edited the widely used textbook, “Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults with Low Vision” from AOTA Press.

In 2017, the low vision certificate program earned the Envision Oculus Award in recognition of national and international impact on improving the daily lives of persons with low vision. The award also honored the program’s professional collaboration, advocacy, research and education in the field of low vision rehabilitation.

“This program was and continues to be at the forefront of education in this field and to have another internationally known expert ready to lead the program after Mary is a reflection of our department and the level of excellence that UAB is known for,” said Gavin Jenkins, PhD, Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy. “Our department will miss Mary’s daily presence – her knowledge and insight was inspiring and her ability to communicate ideas as a teacher and colleague seemed to know no bounds – I am just thrilled that she will remain connected with the program and the department so we can continue to benefit from her experience.”

The UAB Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation program, housed in the School of Health Professions and offered totally online, is the preeminent program of its kind for OTs in the world. More than half of the occupational therapists holding the Specialty Certification in Low Vision (SCLV) credential are UAB alumni.