Awards Ceremony 2013

Awards Ceremony

Opening Remarks, Chris A. Johnson, PhD, FAAO, Awards Committee Chair

Charles F. Prentice Lecture, Gordon E. Legge, PhD

Enhancing Visual Accessibility: A Challenge for Low Vision Research

In my presentation, I will discuss the concept of visual accessibility with special reference to low vision. What role can vision science play in enhancing visual accessibility for people with low vision? I will argue that greater efforts to embed low-vision research in real-world contexts and collaboration with other disciplines will accelerate progress. I will provide examples from two lines of my own research—designing visually accessible spaces, and reading accessibility.

 Irvin M. and Beatrice Borish Award, Pete S. Kollbaum, OD, PhD, FAAO

 Carl C. Koch Memorial Award, Sandra S. Block, OD, MEd, FAAO

 AAO-Essilor Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Optometry, George C. Woo, OD, PhD, FAAO

Vincent Ellerbrock Clinician Educator Award, Murray Fingeret, OD, FAAO

Eminent Service Award, Louis J. Catania, OD, FAAO

 Life Fellow Award, Anthony P. Cullen, OD, PhD, FAAO Michael G. Harris, OD, JD, FAAO 

Presentation of the Garland W. Clay Award, Anthony J. Adams, OD, PhD, FAAO, Editor-in-Chief, Optometry and Vision Science

 Garland W. Clay Award

 Padmaja Sankaridurg, BOptom, MIP PhD Leslie Donovan, BOptom Saulius Varnas, PhD Arthur Ho, PhD, FAAO Xiang Chen, MS Aldo Martinez, PhD, FAAO Scott Fisher, BScPsych Zhi Lin, MSc Earl Smith, III, PhD, FAAO Jian Ge, MD Brien Holden, PhD, DSc, FAAO

 Michael G. Harris Family Award for Excellence in Optometric Education, Barbara Junghans, BOptom, PhD, FAAO

Julius F. Neumueller Award in Optics, Krystal L. Schulle, OD

 Glenn A. Fry Invited Lecture, David B. Elliott, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO

Can Optometrists Help to Prevent Falls?

 Falls are common (33% of those aged 65+ fall each year, 50% of those 80+) and are a very serious health risk for older people, being the major cause of accidental death in the elderly. They are not random events, and although falls are typically multi-factorial and linked to a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, studies indicate that visual impairment is a significant risk factor. Vision provides a significant input to balance control in addition to providing information about the size and position of hazards and obstacles in the travel pathway and allows us to negotiate steps and stairs.

Possible reasons why there has been so little improvement in falls rate in randomised controlled trials of correcting visual impairment by cataract surgery and updating glasses will be discussed, particularly the Cummings et al. (2007) optometric intervention study, which found an increased falls rate after updating spectacles. Guidance will be given on how the optometrist can play their part in preventing falls, particularly in relation to the type of spectacle lens and the refractive correction prescribed to elderly frail patients.

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