Low Vision Clinic

Visit our primary clinic location in Seattle, or one of our satellite clinics in Sedro Woolley and Bremerton, to have a functional vision evaluation and learn about tools and assistive technology available to help you meet the demands of daily living. Our optometrist, Dr. Caitlin Walsh, is residency trained in low vision and vision rehabilitation.

Make an Appointment Today!

Please call our clinic coordinator at (206) 204-6159 Voice/TDD or toll free at (800) 458-4888 x104.
You may also email us at info@sightconnection.org to arrange an appointment.

Make a Referral!

For a family member or friend, complete the General Referral Form.
For your patient, complete the Physician Referral Form.

Services Offered

Low vision rehabilitation Evaluation with our Low Vision Optometrist Evaluation for the benefit of various optical tools including but not limited to:

  • Distance and high powered reading spectacle correction
  • Handheld and Stand Magnifiers
  • Monocular Telescopes
  • Prisms for the purpose of field expansion
  • Bioptic Telescope systems for driving or other goal specific tasks
  • Training with our Low Vision Therapist on the proper use of the recommended low vision devices

What is low vision?

Low vision exists when ordinary glasses, contact lenses, medical treatment, and/or surgery cannot fully correct vision. Unlike total blindness, people with low vision have some useful vision. However, vision loss interferes with their ability to complete tasks of everyday life – such as reading, recognizing faces, cooking, driving, and differentiating color. Another term for low vision is partially sighted or visual impairment. The diagnosis of low vision must be determined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

What is a low vision evaluation?

A low vision evaluation is different than the eye exam you receive from your optometrist or ophthalmologist. It is a functional vision assessment during which an eye care physician will determine your level of vision and identify the tools and training to help you maximize your remaining vision and live the life you want.

The low vision evaluation at Sight Connection typically lasts for an hour and a half. During that time, our optometric physician, Dr. Caitlin Walsh, will take time to learn about the vision-related tasks or hobbies are important to you. Her goal is that you leave your evaluation empowered with knowledge about your eye condition and a customized plan for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can include the appropriate tools, such as glasses, magnifiers, telescopes, and sunglasses, as well as specialized training with other professionals at Sight Connection.

A low vision evaluation does not take the place of your exam with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. These eye care professionals are managing your medical eye condition, as well as monitoring your eyes for the development of new eye conditions.

If you would like more information about whether you might benefit from a low vision evaluation, please feel free to contact our office. Our low vision clinic coordinator would be happy to guide you through the process.

Please call (206) 204-6159 or email info@sightconnection.org to speak with our clinic coordinator.

What is low vision rehabilitation?

The goal of low vision rehabilitation is to empower those who have low vision with the tools and training necessary to continue to lead active, independent, rewarding lives.

Low vision rehabilitation often begins with a low vision evaluation performed by an eye care physician and followed by one-on-one training with a low vision therapist who offers instruction in the proper use of low vision devices (or tools) prescribed during the evaluation.
Rehabilitation may also include all or a combination of the following home-based services offered through Sight Connection:

  • Orientation and Mobility training with one of our Certified Orientation and Mobility Instructors. During these sessions, you will learn techniques for identifying where you are and where you want to go.
  • Independent Living Skills training where you will learn strategies for self-care, food preparation, household management, etc. to promote independent living.
  • Adjustment to vision loss counseling with one of our licensed social workers.

How should I prepare for my first appointment?

It will be helpful if you think about specific problems you are having at home, work, or school because of your vision. This list might include difficulty reading, watching television, using a computer, getting around your neighborhood, or other activities. The low vision evaluation will be most meaningful when you can identify specific needs and goals.

Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:

  • Glasses and magnifiers you are using or have tried in the past.
  • Examples of print you would like to read, such as a favorite book, cross-word, magazine, or tablet device. Hobby-related materials you would like to see, such as your deck of cards, a sample of fabric, stamps, or coins, etc. are also very helpful.
  • Photo ID, insurance cards, and co-pays (when necessary).
  • New Client Forms (if completed and printed at home).

Is the evaluation covered by my insurance?

Medicare and other insurance plans often cover the low vision evaluation. Deductibles and co-payments may apply, and we may need to obtain pre-authorization for your evaluation. No one is turned away for lack of medical insurance or inability to pay.

Most insurance providers, including Medicare, do not cover the cost of low vision aids. Every resource available will be used to try to provide critically needed low vision aids if you are unable to afford the cost of the devices.

Please contact our low vision coordinator at (206) 204-6159 or info@sightconnection.org with questions regarding your insurance and assistance in obtaining a low vision evaluation.