Managing Everyday Life in the Days of COVID-19

Training in the use of assistive technologies and discovering with joy how to regain ownership of our lives.
Federico Bartolomei

Today, blindness is a priority issue, as reaffirmed several times by the World Health Organization, and it is a concern for both low-income and more industrialized countries such as Italy. Eye diseases related to aging are the main cause, significantly compromising the autonomy and quality of life of those who are affected. Hence the need for visual education and rehabilitation paths that allow the blind and visually impaired to take advantage of skills and residual vision, through the use of tools and learning new strategies, to meet the common needs of everyday life.


Low vision aid, Bologna

Unfortunately, even today we still face a lack of knowledge in the population with respect to the existing rehabilitation possibilities. The consequences of this are paid by the many people who are experiencing a visual impairment and who discover dedicated facilities such as the Cavazza Institute only after several months or even years after the onset of the problem, thus spending long periods without being able to read or move about independently. The context of the COVID-19 crisis, with the resulting social distancing measures, has only further emphasized the problem, especially in the older population, where modern technologies are less widespread.


The lack of aids for reading paper materials and the inability to access the resources made available by the Internet are just some examples of how it was, and still is, difficult to manage everyday life in this very complex historical period. The determination and training in the use of aids and assistive technologies represents one of the cornerstones of the activities of the Francesco Cavazza Institute for the Blind, an institution that has not interrupted its operations even during the most difficult days, activating online consulting and telephone assistance whenever possible. In collaboration with local eye care facilities, the Institute has always offered its multidisciplinary advice in favour of people of all ages living with vision loss.


Low vision aid, Bologna

Accessing the facility is simple, one needs only to make an appointment to discover, often with amazement and joy, how in reality it is possible to regain possession of many of our habits, perhaps with the help of special glasses or by using electronic instruments, and relying on the support of many of our specialized professionals.


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