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Practical Information for Social Workers New to Interacting with Older Adults Experiencing Vision Impairment or Blindness

1 credit


Full course description

This 1 credit self-paced video/recorded training course was developed in 2023 for social work professionals. The course will familiarize these professionals who are new to interacting with older adults experiencing vision impairment or blindness with strategies and techniques.

For those who are newly blind or diagnosed with vision impairment, life ahead can seem complicated, frightening, and overwhelming. However, when clients know where to turn for support, understand what resources are available, and have someone to help navigate new challenges, they can again feel hope and be empowered to regain lost independence and quality of life.

Target audience: social workers

Content level: beginning to intermediate

About the author

Linda Greth, LSW, is a licensed social worker who has worked in the field of low vision and blindness for over 20 years. She is currently employed as the Director of Rehabilitation at a private, nonprofit agency in Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree, a Master of Social Work degree, and a Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Pittsburgh. 


Learning objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Characterize possible physical health, mental health, social, and economic implications of vision loss or blindness for older adults.
  • Define basic terms related to low vision and blindness, including common eye conditions in older adults.
  • Indicate attitudinal barriers towards people with disabilities and their impact, as well as “courtesy rules” for engaging with individuals who have low vision and blindness.
  • Describe benefits of self-advocacy skills for older adults with vision impairment and blindness.
  • Identify helpful services and resources in the areas of low vision and blindness for both social workers and older adult clients.

Course outline

Video presentation is separated into three modules.

Module 1: 29:51

  • Introduction
  • Vision Loss in Later Life
  • Implications: physical health, mental health, social & economic
  • Common vision changes as we age
  • Common eye conditions in older adults: age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataracts, Charles Bonnet Syndrome
  • Helpful terms


Module 2: 12:24

  • Attitudinal barriers around disability
  • Common courtesy rules for blindness
  • Self-Advocacy


Module 3: 20:42

  • Blindness and Low Vision Rehabilitation Services
  • Support Groups
  • Grief and loss issues
  • Helpful online resources
  • Popular community resources
  • Trends and collaboration


Course interaction & system requirements 

This online course is a self-paced video/recorded training. Course questions can be directed to the instructor by email:

The following are recommended screen reader and browser combinations.

Mac: Voiceover with the latest version of Safari,

PC: JAWS or NVDA with Firefox.

Note that currently, course quizzes are not functioning properly for Microsoft screen reader users with Chrome or Edge.

The course shows a start date, but this is simply the date the course was made available to the public. They are self-paced. So, there is not an end date. You can enroll at any time.

This course was developed by the National Research & Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at Mississippi State University. We are the only national center funded to conduct research related to employment for people with blindness or low vision, and training and technical assistance for the federal Older Individuals who are Blind program. As a national center of excellence, we offer resources on a variety of topics for service providers, businesses, and persons with vision loss on our websites linked in the logos below.


To purchase CE

There is no cost to enroll in this course.


Course completion & CE info 

Course completion requirements: To earn CE credit, social workers must read the instructions and material, watch the videos, and complete the module quizzes (with a passing score of 80%) and course evaluation. Quizzes may be retaken. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 5 business days of course completion.

Practical Information for Social Workers New to Interacting with Older Adults Experiencing Vision Impairment or Blindness, Course #5163, is approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by Older Individuals Who Are Blind Technical Assistance Center as an individual course. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 10/2/2023 – 10/2/2025. Social workers completing this course receive 1 general continuing education credits. 

For questions, concerns, or to request special accommodations, please call 662-325-2001 or email

NRTC logo and Mississippi State logo 

NTAC Website 

OIB-TAC Website

Sign up for this course today!