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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr June 02, 2015

Barstow BethBeth Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTAElizabeth (Beth) Barstow, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows Award at the recent AOTA Conference and Expo in Nashville. Barstow, an associate professor in the UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, is the fourth faculty member of the OT faculty to earn the honor - that means one-third of the UAB OT faculty are FAOTA.

“Low Vision is a relatively young practice area and Beth has played a significant role in transforming the profession to the primary provider arena so I am thrilled to see her recognized,” said Mary Warren, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA, director of the UAB Low Vision Rehabilitation Graduate Certificate program. “What strikes you immediately, is Beth’s passion for low vision rehabilitation and her desire to promote occupational therapy in the low vision field.”

“First, this honor reflects the fact that others recognize the need to improve and expand services for those with vision impairment which means this can serve as an impetus for further advancement and change,” said Barstow who has taught low vision classes at UAB since 2002. “Second, it is an honor to be recognized by your peers and it shows that my service and work is valued within the occupational therapy profession.”

The seven-word statement that appears on Barstow’s FAOTA award is “Promoting Professional Competence in Low Vision Rehabilitation.”

In 2011, Barstow, along with her mentor Warren, co-edited what is considered “the book” on the occupational therapy approach to low vision rehabilitation: Occupational Therapy Interventions for Adults with Low Vision. Barstow is also the co-author of two books on adults with low vision and numerous papers.

“My grandmother suffered from age-related macular degeneration and at that time there were few services for those with vision loss and she struggled to remain independent and safe,” said Barstow, who has appeared on panels or given presentations on the low vision field nearly three dozen times. “I recognized that because of our aging population, many adults will experience what my grandmother did and I could not allow others to suffer the way she did so serving others in this area became my mission.”

Currently, Barstow is sharing her low vision expertise for some groundbreaking work with the UAB / Lakeshore Research Collaborative. She has teamed up with the UAB RecTech (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) and they are working together on a National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (formerly the NIDRR) grant to develop uniform standards for accessible fitness equipment. You can learn more about their work here: http://www.rectech.org/projects/development/standards-accessible-fitness-equipment/

The FAOTA is awarded to OTs “who with their knowledge and expertise have made a significant contribution to the continuing education and professional development of members of the Association.

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