In this Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, Dr. Albert Maguire, right, checks the eyes of Misa Kaabali, 8, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Misa was 4-years-old when he received his gene therapy treatment. On Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved the therapy which improves the vision of patients with a rare form of inherited blindness, another major advance for the burgeoning field of genetic medicine. Credit: Bill West / AP

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We remember Anne Sullivan’s pioneering work in vision rehabilitation, with her student, Helen Keller, the week of her birthday, April 14, with Vision Rehabilitation Therapist Appreciation Week. A study highlighted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vision loss costs over $134 billion each year. Maine’s specialized Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) and its partners support vision rehab professionals throughout the state, which continues Sullivan’s work.

These professionals include vision rehabilitation therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, teachers of the visually impaired and vocational rehabilitation counselors. These are the professionals who support Mainers with a vision loss, so they can continue working to fill needed jobs and enjoy independent lives, from childhood through retirement. Thanks to these professionals for their work and Maine’s DBVI for supporting these vision rehabilitation professionals who reduce the high personal and financial cost of vision loss. For more information call DBVI at 207-623-7948.

Steve Kelley

Vision rehabilitation therapist