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OMASA to Host Low Vision Conference

20 February 2018

The Orientation and Mobility Organisation of South Africa (OMASA) is presenting a not to be missed LOW VISION CONFERENCE, 19 – 21 FEBRUARY 2018, for ALL professionals working in the field of low vision, persons affected by low vision, their families and other interested parties and will be held at Padre Pio, 25 Kort Street, RietValleiRand (25◦51’11.10” S 28◦16’13.06” E). Pretoria. OMASA is the professional body representing qualified Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Instructors in South Africa. O&M Instructors are trained to assist persons with visual impairment enabling them to adapt so that they are able to function in all aspects of their daily lives, for example, using a white cane, travelling on public transport, cooking, playing cricket etc…

Our invited speaker from the USA, Dr Duane Geruschat, is an Associate Professor at John Hopkins University, a recognized expert in Low Vision, Orientation & Mobility, Special Education and a renowned researcher. This will be Dr Geruschat’s third visit to South Africa, allowing him to understand local conditions and interact with all those who are interested in the field of low vision in our country.

Themes of the Conference, cover children, assessment of different aspects of low vision, acquisition of independence skills, provision of services at the basic education level, health issues, leisure activities, technology, latest research around the treatment of inherited retinal conditions and much, much more. Presentations will take the form of lectures and workshops. CPD points have been applied for by the organising committee.

Exhibitors will be presenting their wares, covering technology and information valuable for not only the end user but also those who work with people experiencing a visual impairment. The Conference venue offers basic but clean & comfortable accommodation at a very reasonable rate. [R460.00 per person a night – dinner, bed & breakfast]. Bookings for accommodation must be done through OMASA – see registration form link below.

An all-day practical Low Vision Workshop 22 February 2018, open to FULL members of OMASA in good standing, will be run by Dr Duane Geruschat. Space is limited to OMASA Members who have attended the three-day Conference. (No additional charges).

Community visits: 27th, 28th Feb and 1st March 2018 for O&M Practitioners only. The purpose of these community activities is to gain hands on experience of intervention and teaching strategies with a variety of clients with low vision. Only 10 places available so BOOK EARLY: Cost: R500.00 per day. [It will not be necessary to attend each day – details of site visits will be circulated to enable you to select the day that covers your area of interest such as adults, children, & the multiply disabled]

There are a number of conference packages for both members and non-members. TAKE NOTE OF THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT which closes on 31st January 2018. Remember ALL accommodation fees and conference fees must be paid directly to OMASA. Contact Ann Heard at lowvisionsupport@annheard.co.za or Moira Higgerty at training@sambt.org.za. Registration closing date is 14th February 2018 paid in full.

The conference link is:- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdX8Ts2TmMhZFK9AlA28LBIn1OYkrJKqBa6QyWvjrMQZFhA3A/viewform

Submitted by Ann Heard

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