Outreach Activities

School of Optometry
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation
Community Eye Care
Outreach Clinics 
Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB)
Remote Area Medical (RAM)
Black Belt Eye Care Consortium/Adult Eye Care
Topical Conferences in Vision and Education 
Parent Support Groups

VSRC Support for Cultural Events



Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation
The UAB Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary research and rehabilitation center that provides quality patient care, teaching and research to advance knowledge in the area of vision rehabilitation. State of the art care is provided for persons with vision impairment not correctable with glasses, contact lenses, or other treatments. Every year approximately 700 low vision patients receive rehabilitation care in the center. Experts in ophthalmology, optometry, occupational therapy, and psychology combine their knowledge to meet the special needs of each patient. Together they help persons with low vision lead more satisfying and productive lives.
The center has an active support group for children with visual impairment and has organized multiple Songs for Sight fundraisers to support the group.

Community Eye Care
The Community Eye Care (CEC) service has been created and is actively supported for the patients who have individual challenges in health and vision care. Eye clinics are held weekly at various health department locations around Jefferson County. There are also vision screenings that are scheduled at various health fairs, employee benefit fairs, schools, and other events.
The CEC has been recognized with an award by the Jefferson County Department of Health for the community health contributions.

Outreach Clinics
The School of Optometry is an active participant of many outreach clinics and programs, including public school screenings and many others. The LINCPoint's Optometry Clinic at United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham is staffed by students and faculty from the School of Optometry. Eye exams provided are designated specifically for individuals with disabilities and are quite extensive. The Clinic also provides outreach services to Jefferson County and Birmingham City School Systems' special education students. The School of Optometry has won 2010 Life Without Limits Outstanding Volunteer Award from United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham. 
The UAB Eye Care Clinic provides assistance at the Alabama Institute for the Lovelady Center, Low Birth Weight/Newborn Follow-Up Clinic, Birmingham Health Care for the Homeless Coalition, Cahaba Valley Health Care, nursing homes, health departments, and other locations that benefit the community.

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB)
The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) is a residential facility primarily for children with sensory impairments.  Founded in 1868, AIDB is located in Talladega, Alabama about 60 miles east of Birmingham.  On its campus are the Alabama School for the Blind, the Alabama School for the Deaf, The Helen Keller School of Alabama and the E. H. Gentry Facility.  The UAB School of Optometry is an integral part of their health services program and has provided eye and vision care on the AIDB campus for over 38 years in a dedicated, permanent, Low Vision Clinic located within the Dowling Infirmary. 
In addition, funds were obtained from the US Department of Education to support qualified students to pursue a PhD in sensory impairments. These funds support tuition and living expenses for two doctoral students in Vision Science up to five years. This training is carried out in collaboration with other universities via web based instruction in hearing and visual impairments, and deafblind research and practice.
http://www.aidb.org/

Remote Area Medical (RAM)
The faculty members and students of the School of Optometry are actively taking part in Remote Area Medical (RAM) trips to provide vision care in the South US. The care includes basic screening, refracting, and eye exam, and if needed, glasses are provided to the patients. The members of the School of Optometry participated in multiple Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH) and other mission trips to central and South America and Africa.

Black Belt Eye Care Consortium/Adult Eye Care
The Consortium is administered under the Community Eye Care Service and is designed to provide comprehensive eye examinations in the Alabama Black Belt counties. This project started as a multi-disciplinary approach to vision and healthcare in rural Alabama in 2001 with a research grant from the CDC. When this grant ended funding was obtained thorough other sources and partnerships allowing travel to the Black Belt counties for exams and to provide free glasses. A partnership with county Department of Human Resources and other sponsoring agencies schedules appointments and serves the most needed citizens in the communities (eg: the elderly and individuals that do not have insurance or transportation). Currently 45-60 patients per month are examined in mobile clinics. This project would not continue to exist without the many varied forms of support from the VSRC. On each monthly clinic 16-18 interns are scheduled to provide exams and vision information to patients under the guidance of UAB’s Clinical Associate Professors and Optometry Clinic Coordinator. We have 5-7 other volunteers as part of the monthly teams that provide intake services, fitting of glasses and patient education. We currently have an outstanding volunteer, Shirley Wilson who is the Black Belt Adult Eye Care Clinic Manager setting up and coordinating sites, collecting data and providing administrative services.
For more information contact Felton Perry at (205) 934-0875; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Topical Conferences in Vision and Education
This is a program of interactive seminars that reaches over 200 persons each year in rural and urban areas through the statewide VIANET system. Topics include reading media assessment, cortical visual impairments, psycho-educational testing, functional vision, and cognitive skills assessment. Collaborating university sites are University of North Alabama, Alabama A&M, UAH, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Talladega College, Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama State, Troy University, and the University of South Alabama.

Parent Support Groups
Two statewide parent groups are affiliated with the VSRC Education and Outreach Module. The Alabama Deafblind Multi-handicapped Association meets during the annual Helen Keller Festival with collaborative training from VSRC staff. The Alabama Association for Parents of the Visually Impaired is assisted by the graduate teacher trainees who work with the children during the annual meeting. The parent group is a collaborative effort with “Songs for Sight” ophthalmology low vision, Hilton Perkins Parent Programs, and the UAB School of Education where the graduate students provide activities at the camp while obtaining clinical hours with children with low vision.

VSRC Support for Cultural Events
Three annual art shows are coordinated through the VSRC Education and Outreach Module. The VSRC provides both financial and in-kind support for these programs: Helen Keller Art Show of AlabamaCongressman and Mrs. Spencer Bachus Holiday Art, and Helen Keller International Art Show