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Lighthouse Guild Receives Grant from American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF)

Funding to study pros and cons of assistive devices for people with vision impairment.




(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — One billion people worldwide have vision impairment that could be helped with assistive technology. This number is expected to double by 2050, particularly due to age-related vision diseases like macular degeneration. While numerous assistive technology devices are now available, many people with vision impairment experience difficulties in finding the right device for specific needs. It is against this backdrop that Lighthouse Guild has received an AMDF Thrive Award of $75,000 to study the effectiveness of various assistive technology devices. The goal is to provide objective information that will help people with vision impairment determine which devices will work best for them.

“Assistive technology has the potential to substantially improve the lives of people with vision impairment by facilitating independence, enhancing communication, improving the ability to perform activities of daily living, and increasing participation in society,” says Dr. William Seiple, chief research officer at Lighthouse Guild. “However, there is not a one size fits all solution. Our research is objectively evaluating assistive technology devices in order to deliver data that will allow people with vision impairment, in consultation with their vision health provider, to find the best technology for their individual needs. We thank American Macular Degeneration Foundation for the generous support of this initiative.”

Working directly with a cohort of people with vision impairment, Lighthouse Guild is collecting data on the functionality, usability, accessibility, and acceptability of specific devices. The data will be compiled to develop recommendations. Lighthouse Guild is in a unique position to conduct this research based on its years of experience in assistive technology, including its recently opened Technology Center.

“AMDF is as committed to improving quality of life for those living with AMD as we are to driving the development of new treatments that can preserve or restore sight,” says Matthew Levine, director of grants, partnerships and advocacy at AMDF. “The findings from this study will ripple across the entire AMD community, helping patients quickly find assistive technology that meets unique needs, while allowing providers of low vision services to optimize consultations.”



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