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TOWSON UNIVERSITY

OFFICE OF GRADUATE STUDIES








THE OCCUPATIONAL LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENT













by
Julie Ann Nastasi




A Dissertation
Presented to the faculty of

Towson University
in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree



Doctor of Science in Occupational Science
Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science

Towson University
Towson, Maryland 21252

(December 2014 )

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© 2014 By Julie Ann Nastasi
All Rights Reserved

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concern within the home. The cellar steps do not have a railing and do not have

overhead lighting. In addition, there is limited head clearance at the bottom

steps. The environment outside the home consists of a front porch, back porch,

gated yard, clotheslines in the back yard, and multiple sets of steps in the front

yard. The steps from the street to the gated yard present as another area of

concern for the home environment. The steps are uneven in height with one-

step that is particularly high. All of the steps in the yard have railings on one

side.

Ann is independent in most of her activities of daily living and instrumental

activities of daily living. The only areas of difficulty for Ann are threading

needles, reading recipes and/or package instructions, and using the microwave.

Ann only identified being unable to read the Bible and/or standard print books;

Ann listens to audio books. Outside of the home, Ann attends and participates in

the Lackawanna Blind Association, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the MAC

club for her church, and mass on a weekly basis. Ann is highly motivated to

participate in activities and to leave the home. Ann walks, uses private and

public transportation, and also relies on friends and family to travel.

I like going downtown on the bus all alone. I love doing that. I love

doing things on my own. (Ann)



Ann does not care what people are doing, if they ask her to go, she will

go.

It

d (Ann)

Ann has strong familial support. One of her sons stops by her house

every evening on his way home from work and on the weekends. She reports he

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used to come twice a day, but she made him stop comin

daughter talks to her daily on the phone and takes her shopping on her day off

, who lives in a neighboring state, calls her

twice a week on the phone.

Ann was diagnosed with macular degeneration eight years ago. Ann has

dry macular degeneration in one eye and wet macular degeneration in the other.

Her eye doctor has been treating the eye with wet macular degeneration with

injections. She receives the injections every eight or nine weeks. At the

measured as severe visual impairment on the MARS chart during the initial

interview. During the initial session, Ann was able to identify 39% of the items in

the room. Ann successfully identified objects on the walls and stations in the

identifying objects on furniture and on

bookshelves.



has prescribed her with eyeglasses, and she has an over the counter magnifier

and closed-circuit television. She also has a typoscope, 20/20 pens, and a digital

device to read books on tape. Ann uses task lighting in her living room, kitchen,

and her workstation in the dining room. She even added small lights on the side

hs, and seasons are

structured and routine. Ann attends clubs on certain days and completes specific

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Continuing Education Committee for AOTA Providership NYSOTA, 2003,

NYSOTA, PO Box 609, Glenmont, NY 12077

Program Committee Co-Chair 2003 State Conference NYSOTA, 2002 2003,

NYSOTA, PO Box 609, Glenmont, NY 12077


AWARDS:
Roster of Fellows, AOTA, 2014
Specialty Certification in Low Vision, AOTA, 2009-2019




PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:
Envision University Oculus Society, 2013 - Present
Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association, 2011 - Present
New York State Occupational Therapy Association, 2002 - Present
World Federation of Occupational Therapists, 1999 - Present
American Occupational Therapy Association, 1996 - Present

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