Welcome OMASA members

This is your link to helpful resources, such as webinars, articles and ongoing training material. You can also access the full OMASA constitution below.

Please feel free to contact admin@omasa.org.za if you come across any resources that would be a useful share for fellow members.

Bi-Weekly Updates from the Field

Diabetic Retinopathy Research…Some Interesting Progress

The National Eye Institute (NEI) is a leader in vision research. They aim to use research to prevent, treat or reverse vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the topics at the forefront of their research – they claim that 40% of all individuals with diabetes are affected by DR. It is when DR reaches the late stages of disease progression that vision loss occurs. Since current treatments are ineffective for late-stage DR, their research has focused on what happens in the eye in earlier stages of the disease.

They recently discovered that the retinal capillaries stiffen in the earlier stages of DR. Further degeneration could be prevented if the stiffening can be blocked. Initial trials with an oral drug have shown successful results and have been able to stop the stiffening. It is still very early stages in the research process, but, this is an exciting start. Over time it might mean effective treatment that can prevent blindness caused by DR.

Source: https://www.nei.nih.gov/about/news-and-events 

New App Alert

The Low Vision Centre of Learning recently recommended a new, useful app that speaks out written information and shares information about the environment.

Check out the Envision app at https://www.letsenvision.com/app as a possible tool for clients. 

It has a 4.6 star rating on Google Play. 


Have You Thought Of…?

Using a dog clicker to help a client learn echolocation skills?

This idea was shared at the 2023 International Mobility Conference in Poland. An O&M Practitioner recognised a child’s ability to use echolocation, although the child was too young to get the traditional clicking noise right. They gave the child a dog clicker to use as a substitute, which was very successful.

The idea is to point the clicker at an object in the environment and listen to the returning echo once it has been ‘clicked’. Listening carefully, the client should start to identify different echoes coming off different surfaces. It is a great starting point if you think a client has the ability to echolocate and is interested in learning the skill.

Dog clickers are not expensive and can be purchased online – just Google ‘dog clicker’ to access various options.

Eye Conditions Link

This is a useful link for quickly looking up an eye condition. It includes a brief description of each eye condition as well as symptoms and treatment conditions. 



‘Coming Full Circle – The Gift of Mobility’

An inspirational, international story about how O&M training changed a man’s life and led him to create his own O&M training programme in Sri Lanka.


‘Planes, Trains and Canes’

This video series shares Dr Mona Minkara’s journey of travelling all over the world as a bind person, unassisted. In these two episodes she makes her way to Johannesburg. Watch to find out how she experiences her time in the city of gold and how she negotiates challenges along the way. 

These could also be helpful links to share with clients in need of some motivation.  



‘Adonis Watt – The Blind Football Player with NFL Dreams Shares His Vision hero Story’

Adois is 14, attends a regular high school in the US and plays American Football. And he is blind. He is an inspiration to any young client who might feel alone or demotivated about their vision loss. 


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