BESB: Low Vision Services

Low Vision {eye glasses}

Low Vision refers to a vision loss that cannot be corrected with conventional glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or medication.  The purpose of low vision services is to maximize the vision you that have.  A low vision evaluation cannot repair or improve vision loss.  The use of low vision devices, lighting, and contrast may possibly lead to increased visual independence.

Low vision service differs from a traditional ophthalmologic or optometric examination by looking at vision functioning.  The low vision eye care provider determines the vision you have, consults with you regarding what you want to be able to do, and works with you toward increasing vision use.  There are numerous optical, non-optical, and electronic devices which may help you use your vision to better accomplish the things you want to do.

Low Vision Devices

Depending on the eye condition, magnifiers may help with:

  • Reading bills and correspondence {magnifying glass}

  • Reading prescriptions and medicine bottles

  • Writing checks

  • Watching television and children playing

  • Reading price tags

  • Reading a book or newspaper

  • Reading recipes and directions

  • Resuming hobbies and recreational activities {woman reading paper}

  • Spotting walk signs and street signs

  • Reading store signs

  • Completing forms and employment-related activities

  • Reading a computer screen

  • Reading the blackboard

Other devices or techniques can be used to increase size making a considerable difference in visual functioning.  Large print or writing larger helps many people read print {low vision device} without a magnifier.  Holding the reading material closer to your face or sitting closer to the television will also increase the size of the image you want to see.

Using low vision devices does take practice and adjustment.  The success of the device is dependent on the motivation of the user.

Low Vision Providers

No two people with low vision, even with the same eye condition, see in the same way.  Hundreds of devices are available and a Low Vision Specialist would be able to determine which device is appropriate for your functional vision and personal needs.


Low vision providers are optometrists or ophthalmologists who specialize in the prescription, training and dispensing of optical and non-optical devices.  A Rehabilitation Teacher can also continue training in the home or work place.

Lighting Considerations

Lighting is a serious issue for people with low vision.  Many eye conditions increase sensitivity to sunlight, computer screens, and overhead florescent lighting and actually decrease visual performance.  Different colored lenses or sunglasses worn over conventional glasses both indoors and outdoors frequently help.


Repositioning yourself with the light source behind you can reduce glare from windows or shiny surfaces such as like counters or desks. 


Brighter is not always better.  Frequently, a well-positioned 60-watt light bulb is sufficient.  The light should be shining on the task where you are working, such as the desk top.  The surrounding light can be a little dimmer to give the effect of a spot light.  Closing curtains or shades helps control the light in a room.


Give yourself extra time to adjust to changes in brightness of light.  If possible, keep the lighting between rooms the same. 

          {dark room}     {normal light room}     {extra bright room }

Contrast Suggestions

Increasing contrast between objects can make them appear much clearer.  Using a black marker (instead of blue) on white paper means less difficulty when trying to read print.  Placing house keys in a white dish makes them much easier to find.  Dimming the contrast or brightness on a computer screen or changing the screen color can ease reading.

Receiving Low Vision Services

Low vision services are offered to children and adults who are registered with BESB.  The devices provided by BESB are recommended and supplied based on a personal, educational, or vocational need.


Centralized Service Option for Low Vision:


Ask your BESB assigned Social Worker, Teacher or Counselor about the option of receiving low vision services at the agency low vision center, located in Windsor, CT. In addition to receiving low vision services at this location, BESB provides rehabilitation teaching instruction and mobility instruction on the same day for interested consumers who obtain low vision services at the agency. In many instances, under this centralized service option, consumers can receive low vision aids, daily living aids and mobility canes on the same day. 


If you do not qualify for low vision services with BESB, we can refer you to a low vision specialist in your area or the Lionís Low Vision Centers.




The Lions Low Vision Centers teach clients to use low vision aids and devices to make the activities of daily living easier.  Their staff offers training in the use of these devices as well as counseling, support and referrals to significantly enhance daily living. For individuals who are not eligible for BESB services, the Lions Low Vision Centers offer low cost options for obtaining low vision devices and training.


Connecticut Lions Low Vision Center Locations

       NEW BRITAIN   (860) 832-9601

       BRISTOL             (860) 589-3587

       TORRINGTON   (860) 832-9601

       BLOOMFIELD   (860) 832-9601

       DANBURY        (203) 730-5900

       SOUTHBURY    (203) 262-4230

       WATERBURY   (800)  676-5715

       GREENWICH   (203)  863-3984

       NEW HAVEN    (203) 785-2020


Address all correspondence to:

Lions Low Vision Center

33 Highland Street

New Britain, CT 06052


Phone: (860) 832-9601

             (800) 676-5715

Fax:     (860) 832-9604


Web Site:




Content Last Modified on 1/23/2015 1:53:04 PM