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         About Us

         Low Vision

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Q: What is STAVI?

A: STAVI stands for Southern Tier Association for the Visually Impaired. Our Mission is to assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired through services and employment opportunities.

Q: What does STAVI do?

A: STAVI is comprised of 2 main areas. The Manufacturing area provides meaningful employment for people who are legally blind. The Services side provides rehabilitative services to those who are blind or visually impaired.

Q: How is STAVI funded?

A: STAVI is funded in part by our manufacturing facility where we employ the legally blind. Additional funding is received from local groups, endowment income and donations through bequests and our Annual Fund Drive.

Q: Is STAVI a State Agency?

A: No. STAVI is a private, not for profit agency, reliant on our own income from our manufacturing facility that provides employment opportunities for the legally blind and income from donations and grants.

Q: Are my donations tax deductible?

A: Yes. STAVI is a 501(c)(3) registered not for profit agency and your donations are completely tax deductible.

Q: What are my donations used for?

A: All of your donated dollars are used for the cost of the rehabilitative services provided and to assist in the purchase of the adaptive devices for our clients.

Q: What is Low Vision?

A: Low Vision is characterized by a visual impairment that limits the ability to clearly read printed materials and recognize details at a distance even with conventional prescription corrections. The visual image for a low vision patient may be distorted or blurred. To improve the quality of the image, special devices that enhance visual performance are needed.

Q: What Does The Low Vision Center Offer?

A: Treatment of low vision is more than ordinary eye care. There are no magic glasses to fix low vision. However, the Low Vision Center provides more specialized services to patients who have had significant vision damage caused by glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataracts and other diseases of the eye. While not providing a cure, the optical devices prescribed often help one to cope more effectively with vision loss.
Beginning with an extensive initial examination, the Low Vision Center supplements the effectiveness of the patient’s eyeglasses with visual devices available at the Center. Trained staff from the center will assist individuals in the use of the recommended devices.

Q: How Can Services Be Obtained?

A: Call us for an explanation of the procedure or talk to your eye care specialist. A referral from your eye-care professional is necessary. The referral must be based on an examination date not to exceed 12 months.

Q: What Is The Procedure Once I Am Referred?

A: Once referred, a representative from the Southern Tier Association for the Visually Impaired (STAVI) will contact you to schedule a consultation in your home. They will make an evaluation of your day by day activities so that the eye care specialist can best determine how to help you use the vision you have. At that time, an appointment is then scheduled for the Low Vision Center with ophthalmologists and optometrists trained in low vision eye care. They help individuals overcome visual limitations by evaluating their vision and prescribing devices which provide maximum benefit. Individualized evaluations are performed and recommendations are made based on results. Trained instructors from STAVI will then follow-up with in-home visits to assist in the adaptation to the prescribed devices.

Q: Is There A Cost?

A: Yes, however, there are various sources of funding available. STAVI can work with you to access those sources. No one should ever be denied service.

Q: Can I Stop In At The Center Anytime?

A: No. The office is open for appointments only. Appointments are scheduled after receipt of a complete eye exam report from your eye care specialist. The exam must have been performed within the past 12 months. The Low Vision Centers are conveniently located to serve the needs of the low vision patient. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have about low vision and the services we provide. Please call us at 607-734-1554 or contact us via the web at info@st-avi.org.

Q: Do I Have To Come To The STAVI Building For Training?

A: No. We go directly to your home so that you are comfortable in your own environment. Techniques are geared to your own setting.

Q: What Types Of Adaptive Devices Are Used?

A: Devices are based upon individual needs. They might include magnification devices, talking watches and/or large number watches, special vision glasses for watching television, talking calculators, check-writing guides, liquid level indicators, large print playing cards, large number telephones, etc.

Q: Are These Devices Free?

A: Funding is available, based upon individual needs. There are also resources to assist with the more expensive devices.

Q: What Types Of Adaptive Techniques Are Taught?

A: Coin Identification, adaptive cooking techniques, house-cleaning chores, searching techniques, safety techniques and tactile identification are all examples of the daily living skills that are taught.

Q: Is There A Cost For The Rehabilitative Services?

A: No. All of our rehabilitative services are free and are a part of being referred to us by your eye-care professional.