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Tomeico Faison, OTR/L

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation program has changed my life and my practice!

I founded Therapeutic Solutions in 2003, and we worked predominately in mental health for the first four years. In 2007, I noticed that a client who was diagnosed with psychosis had low vision and was mixing up her medications. Perhaps, she appeared psychotic because she was taking the wrong medications because she could not see the small writing on the bottles!

Shortly after this epiphany, I enrolled in the UAB Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation program, and it was an amazing journey.

Passion and Drive to Serve Others

The program was rigorous and life did not stop while enrolled—I lost a child, had a second child and dealt with the recession's effect on the finances of my business, but with encouragement from Mary Warren, the program director, my faith and my innate desire to help people with low vision, I completed the program and have no regrets!

Low vision rehab is a very specialized skill set and the knowledge I gained helped me to fully understand how I could best help clients with low vision besides thinking I could just magnify everything.

In 2012, low vision services were added to our practice as I am passionate about serving underserved populations, and it was clear that people with low vision are underserved in their homes. Since then, we have grown our referral base to 28 doctors and have received over 200 referrals and provided nearly 1000 treatments!

We have also added the Dynavision (still in startup phase) and see the demand for future pediatric low vision services. We are in the final phase of starting a nonprofit to help our clients pay for items they cannot afford.

Our work has been featured in Duke Eye Center's national Vision magazine, the local news on WRAL-TV and we are getting calls from people around the nation about our services!

The UAB Family

It has not been an easy journey as low vision is an emerging practice area and there is so much to learn, about system development. However, hiring several UAB vision rehab graduates (Renee, Ailse and Robert) and having them on the Therapeutic Solutions team has allowed me to confidently focus on administration (marketing, finances, etc.) and growth while they are providing clinical services. They provide evidence-based client and occupation centered treatment!

We are developing a system for occupational therapists who want to grow vision rehab practices across a state to help people with low vision age in place and hope to have a national, if not global, model for practitioners who want to go beyond the solo practitioner.

None of this could have happened without the Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation from UAB! I am forever grateful because we are changing lives!