Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

Most of us are unable to accurately predict the future. With that stipulation, there is a project currently underway that I predict will have huge implications on the provision of professional services for adults who are visually impaired in the United States. This project has the potential to change the stream of government funding, the manner in which government-funded services are provided and documented, and affirm or resolve the importance of professional certification of service providers. I am referring to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) five-year study--the Medicare Low Vision Rehabilitation Demonstration Project--on the provision of Medicare-reimbursed rehabilitation services provided by professionals certified by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals.

The Medicare demonstration project is the subject of a Speaker's Corner written by three of the country's experts on low vision rehabilitation. Lylas Mogk, Gale Watson, and Michael Williams offer an overview of and a substantive challenge to the project, questioning whether it should proceed as written. Their message is that the project has serious design flaws and should either be completely restructured or terminated. Whether you agree or disagree with these individuals, I am certain the Speaker's Comer will stimulate your thinking on this issue. I invite you to submit your comments as letters to the editor so that JVIB can serve as a forum for an analysis of this important topic.

To further stimulate the discussion, I will offer an alternative point of view. I have had some experience in testifying on various pieces of legislation related to people with disabilities. What I have come to understand is that the concerns of members of our field (namely, quality research and impact on services) may not be the same as the concerns of the legislature (votes and cost). …

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