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Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired

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Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired

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Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired
By Alberta L. Orr and Priscilla Rogers With the National Agenda on Vision and Aging Goal 1 Working Group
AFB Press, (2003)
Format: 3-ring binder with printed text, cassettes, and ASCII disk
ISBN: 0-89128-868-6
Genre: Self-help

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - July 17, 2003

Vison loss at any age can be a devastating and scary experience. However, for older individuals it can be especially debilitating. Not only are they already having to cope with the complications normally associated with the ageing process, but a loss of vision can drastically disrupt an older individual's retirement plans. Worse, a loss of vision can also negatively affect their sense of independence, self-esteem, and self-confidence.

Although learning to deal with a vision loss can be a challenge, it does not have to an arduous one. Older individuals can easily learn the necessary self-advocacy skills they need to ensure that they get the care and support that they need. In the course of learning and putting these skills into practice they will not only learn to live more independent and satisfying lives, but they will discover that their sense of self-esteem and self-confidence will grow dramatically.

To facilitate teaching older individuals the necessary self-advocacy skills, Alberta L. Orr and Priscilla Rogers, in conjunction with the National Agenda on Vision and Aging Goal 1 Working Group, have developed a curriculum to train self-advocacy skill trainers. This curriculum, Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired has been published by the AFB Press. This course is designed to be taught in group setting, with the 'class' being led by a trainer. The Self-Advocacy Skills Training Curriculum is in the form of a three-part kit consisting of: This kit provides step-by-step guidance for group leaders teaching a self-advocacy course, and it can be used by both professional and nonprofessional leaders. The training manual is very user-friendly and offers guidance on everything from how to organize a training session to how to evaluate the effectiveness of the course once it has been completed. After reading through the course material I am confident that anyone with the desire to do so can teach an effective self-advocacy course, with the aid of this program. The material is detailed, and instructions are even given on how to conduct role-playing exercises, empowerment exercises, visualization techniques, and a variety of other training techniques. Information is also offered on how to tailor the course to the needs of the 'students' you are teaching.

There are seven modules in the training manual: As you can see from the above list, this is a comprehensive course. Not only does it teach older individual skills that will help them adjust to living with a vision loss, but will also help to teach them about their rights and the various rehabilitation options available to them.

The material in this kit comes in a three-ring binder that includes the entire curriculum in three formats: printed text, cassettes, and ASCII disk. As an added bonus, you are allowed to make copies of the materials in the kit for use in training and educational situations. In addition, included with the curriculum are several additional resources, including a Directory of Organizations Related to Blindness and Visual Impairment, a reading list on self-advocacy issues, and a copy of a Certificate of Achievement that you can give out to anyone that completes the course.

The Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired kit is a tremendous resource for anyone coping with a vision loss. The curriculum is easy to follow and has been well tested, having already been used by over twenty-nine organizations and consumer groups. Group leaders will find this curriculum invaluable in learning how to teach self-advocacy skills. More importantly, older individuals who take this course will not only learn valuable coping skills, but they will develop greater self-confidence to regain their sense of independence, thereby enabling them to lead a productive and fulfilling life.

Information on how to order the Self-Advocacy Skills Training for Older Individuals Who Are Visually Impaired kit, can be found online on AFB Press's website.


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