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The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation
Edited by Barbara Silverstone

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The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation Set

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The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation Set
Vol I: Vision Impairment
Vol II: Vision Rehabilitation
Edited by Barbara Silverstone
Oxford University Press, (2000)
ISBN for 2-volume set: 0-19-509489-1
Genre: Vision disorders and vision loss

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - August 20, 2001

The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation consists of two volumes. Volume one is devoted to articles related to vision impairment and volume two consists of articles relating to vision rehabilitation. Together, this two-volume set serves as an incredible reference guide to vision related issues.

The basic format of both volumes is the same. The books are divided into thematic sections, and each section contains a summary of the topic, followed by a series of articles that discuss varies aspects of the topic in depth. Both volumes in this series deal with issues related to individuals who are blind or who suffer from low vision, and the changes that they undergo as their vision decreases. The topics, and articles, covered in these volumes are varied and can be read independently. However, all the topics are interconnected and when read as whole presents the reader with a comprehensive overview of the main themes related to vision loss and rehabilitation.

Volume One: Vision Impairment

The first volume in this two-part series is devoted to the topic of vision impairment. It discusses specific diseases and their impact on vision. It is divided into five sections:
  1. Visual Disorders: The Medical Perspective
    This section includes chapters on the epidemiology of vision impairment, vision impairment in the pediatric population, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal disorders, ocular trauma, neuro-ophthalmology, and refractive disorders.

  2. Visual Disorders: The Functional Perspective
    This topic discusses the functional aspects of vision loss.

  3. Visual Disorders: The Psychosocial Perspective
    This section deals with the social and psychological issues surrounding vision loss, and with helping individuals understand the effects of vision loss.

  4. Interactions of Vision Impairment with Other Disabilities and Sensory Impairments
    Individuals with vision loss often also have other disabilities as well. The chapters in this section discusses the implications of multiple disabilities in relationship to their associated with vision loss. For instance, this section contains articles on "Dual Vision and Hearing Loss," "Low Vision and HIV Infection," and " Children with Multiple Impairments."

  5. The Environment and Vision Impairment: Toward Universal Design
    The final section in the first volume of this series deals with how individuals with vision impairments relate to their environment, and how their environment can be adjusted in order to accommodate their varied needs.
In total, this first volume of The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation covers the main concerns related to the 'condition' of vision impairment.

Volume Two: Vision Rehabilitation

This volume brings together articles from an outstanding collection of writers ranging from ophthalmologist to rehabilitation specialists. Topics covered are indexed under the following categories:
Each section listed above begins with a brief summary of the topic under discussion, and each article includes detailed references. Combined, there are 35 articles in this volume, offering the reader an expansive overview of the current status and techniques of vision rehabilitation. When appropriate, the articles include diagrams or illustrations that enhance the material under discussion, and they include such items as photos of diagnostic and adaptive equipment, and pictures of individuals using adaptive devices.


The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation was written by professionals, for professionals. It will serve as a handy reference guide to those working the fields of vision impairment and vision rehabilitation, as well as for those in other fields, such as teaching and social work, who interact with visually impaired individuals. These articles are through and well written and adhere to the academic methodologies found in most peer reviewed journals. Although these articles are geared toward a professional audience, they are also accessible to individuals with nonprofessional interests, such as patients seeking information about their condition.

Overall, these two volumes represent a great addition to the field of vision rehabilitation and will serve as an excellent resource for anyone seeking information about visual impairments, or vision rehabilitation techniques.

The Lighthouse Handbook on Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation was published by the Oxford University Press under the auspices of Lighthouse International. In total, there are over 70 articles in these two books, contributed by over 100 authors. Combined, these volumes consist of 2,038 pages and they are embellished with over 200 illustrations. The only drawback to this book is that it is not available in large print.

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