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For People with Low Vision Needs
Integrated within NRI is The Center for Vision Rehabilitation, an important adjunct for those who want to continue to lead normal lives, even with low vision.
Retinal surgery and treatment can be a blessing to those on the verge of losing the vision that he or she has depended upon. Yet, there are times when even the most optimal intervention cannot reverse at least some degree of vision loss, and the patient must face a degree of low vision as a continuing fact of life. NRI is not content to forsake those with low vision and has created a fully staffed department that has helped hundreds to use their remaining vision productively and to continue a high quality of life.
The Center for Vision Rehabilitation came into being when NRI's founder, Dr. Bert Glaser, attended a lecture by Dr. Donald C. Fletcher, one of the world's foremost authorities on vision rehabilitation. Dr. Fletcher had devoted his ophthalmologic career to improving the lot of those destined to live with low vision, and is the author of the most advanced methodology in the field. Dr. Glaser realized then that the mission of NRI could not be complete without also providing for patients who needed to find ways to deal with their low vision.
Today, NRI has not only completed the model of an extensive Center for Vision Rehabilitation, but also has secured the on-staff services of Dr. Fletcher himself.
The Center receives referrals from its own doctors and also from other physicians throughout the world. Dr. Fletcher is ably assisted by Dr. Kimberly Deugwillo, a highly honored doctor of optometry specializing in the field of low vision. Based upon their examination, a course of training is prescribed and carried out by a caring staff of low vision occupational therapists. This dedicated team, Michelle Bianchi and Becky O'Bryan, work with patients by training the patients to use their eyes and brain to "see" in ways that weren't considered possible before. They also have a wide range of low vision aids of every type for people with low vision to demonstrate, train on and acquire.
Success stories abound. Many patients are able to read again, workers are remaining at their jobs, and the elderly are enjoying the sight of their grandchildren. The Center for Vision Rehabilitation has now become an integral part of what we do at The National Retina Institute.
Michelle Bianchi, OTR/L, CLVT
Michelle Bianchi is an occupational therapist specializing in vision rehabilitation at The National Retina Institute (NRI). Since 2005 she has helped over 500 patients with low vision maximize their safety and independence with their desired activities of daily living.
Michelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in both Psychology and Occupational Therapy & Occupational Science from Towson University. Currently, she is pursuing a combined certificate in low vision and Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ms. Bianchi has completed internships at Maryland General Hospital’s Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Traumatic Brain Injury Unit, Kennedy Krieger’s Inpatient Hospital, Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s Transitional Care Unit, and The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital’s Dual Diagnoses of Addiction and Affective Disorders Unit. She was the American Occupational Therapy Association’s recipient of the 2001 Henrietta Price Scholar Award.
Michelle has over 10 years of occupational therapy experience including working with patients recovering from traumatic brain injury and physical disabilities. Michelle is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Maryland Occupational Therapy Association.
Let Michelle help you by utilizing the latest advances in technology and occupational therapy to design an individual, customized rehabilitation plan.
Michelle is available to see patients at:
901 Dulaney Valley Road
Towson, MD 21204
1005 North Point Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21224
Appointments at other NRI locations are also available.
Becky O’Bryan is an occupational therapist specializing in vision rehabilitation at The National Retina Institute’s Center for Vision Rehabilitation since 2006. She enjoys assisting patients in using their remaining vision to complete their day to day activities needed to live independently and safely.
Becky received her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia in 2000. She is also a graduate of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Social Psychology. As an Occupational Therapist, Becky has worked with many older adults with multiple disabilities, including vision impairment in assisted living facilities, long-term care, and home health. Becky has completed continuing professional education in low vision, including “Understanding Visual Impairments and Functional Rehabilitation of Visually Impaired Patients” and “Low Vision: Occupational Therapy Intervention with the Older Adult.” Currently, Becky is working toward Low Vision Therapist Certification through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
Professional organizations include the American Occupational Therapy Association and The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired. Becky is also an active member of the Lions Club.
She enjoys her work and is committed to helping individuals with vision loss live as fully and independently as possible.
Becky is available to see patients at:
200 Executive Center Parkway
Fredericksburg, Va. 22401