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There is no cost to attend, and all interested individuals are invited to participate. Continuing education credit will be available.

Attend at DMU or online.






The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 2.2 billion people globally experience vision impairment or blindness. The prevalence of visual impairment tends to increase with age, and various conditions contribute to vision loss, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and congenital factors.


Individuals with visual impairments encounter educational, employment, and social participation challenges. Access to information, mobility, and communication poses particular difficulties for those who are blind or have low vision.


Vision, as our most dominant sense, plays a crucial role in every aspect and stage of life. Often taken for granted, vision is integral to learning, walking, reading, participating in school, and working. Vision impairment occurs when eye conditions affect the visual system and its functions, and everyone is likely to experience at least one eye condition requiring care in their lifetime.


Vision impairment has significant consequences throughout an individual's life. Timely access to quality eye care can mitigate many of these consequences. While strategies often focus on eye conditions causing vision impairment, such as cataracts or refractive errors, the importance of conditions that typically don't lead to vision impairment, like dry eye or conjunctivitis, should not be overlooked. These conditions frequently lead individuals to seek eye care services.




  • List 2-3 barriers faced by individuals losing vision.
  • Discuss how these barriers can be overcome. 
  • Review the challenges people who are blind or have low vision face in medical settings.
  • Approach patients who are blind or losing vision.
  • Use tools and access technology blind people use to work and live independently.




Connie Mendenhall
Chief Information Officer, Iowa Department for the Blind


Emily Wharton, MFA, CPM
Director, Iowa Department for the Blind

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