CNIB VOICE Demonstration Project on Access to Low Vision Services and Care

Dates:Feb. 2004-Jan. 2005
Funder:The Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development Fund (SIDPD); Health Canada's Voluntary Sector Initiative
Full Name:CNIB VOICE Demonstration Project on Access to Low Vision Services and Care
Published As:Gold, D., Zuvela, B. and Hodge, W. (2006). Perspectives on low vision service in Canada: a pilot study. Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology. 41:3, 348-354. CJO article
Contact:Research Administration Coordinator, CNIB Research, Tel: 416-486-2500 ext. 7622, Email: 


This pilot study looked at barriers surrounding seniors' access to low vision services, from the perspective of both consumers and the service providers themselves.

Thirty seniors, twenty six ophthalmologists, twenty five optometrists, ten opticians and fifty vision rehabilitation practitioners were consulted via questionnaires and surveys. Additional input was gathered from three focus groups consisting of twenty eight seniors with vision loss.

Barriers identified by both groups included:

  • Growing demand for service, coupled with limited funding and resources

  • Gaps in provincial health coverage for vision services

  • A need for increased cooperation and referral between service providers

  • A need for physicians to become more aware of existing vision rehabilitation services, and the importance of quickly referring their patients to these services

A total of fourteen recommendations resulted from this pilot project, under the categories of Social Policy, Research and Public Education.

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