Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

There are many reasons why we chose our profession in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Among the most common is the general fascination of and wanting to understand how the different types and classifications of vision loss--congenital or adventitious visual impairment, total blindness, or the various types and levels of low vision--effect the perceptions and life experiences of people with visual impairments and how we professionals in the field can minimize the impact of the loss of a primary sense. The broad themes of developmental delay that can be influenced by early intervention, the ability of students who are visually impaired to learn, and the effects of and coping strategies for vision loss later in life have been described in the literature for more than 40 years. One topic that has not received a great deal of attention in the field is vision restoration. Readers of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) have probably read or at least know of the reports on vision restoration in the chapter entitled "Learning How to See" in Richard L. Gregory's Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing (1997) or the various books published by neurologist Oliver Sacks (for example, An Anthropologist on Mars, 1995, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, 1998), which raise questions about the fundamental nature of how we perceive reality.

In this month's issue of the journal, Leventhal reviews a book that offers the rare and exciting opportunity to learn about someone who is well known in the field of assistive technology who has undergone sight-restoration surgery. Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See, written by Robert Kurson, highlights the life of Mike May, founder and chief executive officer of the Sendero Group, who regained sight in one eye after a stem cell- and cornea-transplant procedure. The descriptions of May's experiences and of the research that has been conducted with him as he regained sight are professionally stimulating and personally fascinating. …

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