Privacy & Cookies Policy

PRIVACY POLICY PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LEGISLATION ON PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy – www.iapb.it

IAPB Italy, with its registered office in Via U. Biancamano 25 – 00185 Rome (hereinafter, “Controller”), as data controller, informs you – pursuant to art. 13 D.Lgs. 30.6.2003, no. 196 (hereinafter, “Data Protection Code“) and art. 13 EU Regulation no. 2016/679 (hereinafter, “GDPR“) – that your data will be processed in the described manner and for the following purposes:

1. INFORMATION WE MAY COLLECT FROM YOU

The Controller collects and processes personal data (such as name, surname, address, telephone number, e-mail, bank and payment details) – hereinafter, “personal data” or even “data” – which you have provided at the time of registering to the Controller’s site or subscribing to any of its services.

2. PURPOSES OF PERSONAL DATA PROCESSING

Your personal data are processed:

2.A) without your express consent art. 24 lett. a), b), c) of the Data Protection Code and art. 6 lett. b), e) of [GDPR] for the following Service Purposes: the Company processes the personal data provided by you or already in its possession, to finalise, manage and perform the activity requested by you. For instance: participation in the Forum “Ask the ophthalmologist”, phone calls to our toll-free number 800-068506 [available from Italy only, otherwise call + 39 06 36004929 from abroad], participation in development projects and/or mini-projects, donations, legacies, devolution of the 5xmille to IAPB with your tax return;

2.B) with your express consent only (articles 23 and 130 of the Data Protection Code, article 7 of GDPR), for the following Marketing Purposes: to send you by email, mail and/or sms and/or telephone, newsletter, any commercial and/ or promotional communications on projects, events, activities or services offered by the Controller. In such cases, the provision of your personal data will be optional and your refusal will not have any consequences on the legal relationships already existing or being established, thus precluding only the performance of the activities indicated in this point

3. HOW DO WE PROCESS YOUR DATA?

The processing of your personal data is carried out by means of the operations indicated in art. 4 of the Data Protection Code and art.4 no. 2) of GDPR and more precisely: collection, registration, organization, storage, consultation, processing, modification, selection, extraction, comparison, usage, interconnection, blocking, communication, cancellation and destruction of data. Your personal data is subjected to both paper based and electronic and/or automated processing.

The Data Controller will process personal data for the time necessary to fulfill the aforementioned purposes and in any case for no more than 10 years from the termination of the Service Finality relationship and for no more than 6 years from the collection of data for Marketing Purposes.

4. WHO CAN ACCESS YOUR PERSONAL DATA?

Your data may be made accessible for the purposes referred to in art. 2.A and art. 2.B to anybody who, within the Company, and within parent companies, affiliated companies or subsidiaries of IAPB Italy, need them in consequence of their tasks or company role. These subjects, whose number will be as limited as possible, will be appropriately trained in order to avoid losses, destruction, unauthorized access or unauthorized processing of the data.

Furthermore, data may be disclosed to: (i) institutions, authorities, public bodies for their institutional purposes; (ii) professionals, independent collaborators, also in associated form; third parties and suppliers used by the Controller for the provision of services of a commercial, professional and technical nature, which may be useful to the management of the Site and related functionalities (eg. IT service providers and Cloud Computing), to the pursuit of the purposes specified above and the services requested by the user; (iii) third parties in the case of mergers, acquisitions, sale of company or business units, audits or other extraordinary transactions; (iv) the corporate SB [[Supervisory Body]], domiciled with the Controller, for the pursuit of its supervisory activities and the implementation of the IAPB Italy Code of Conduct. These subjects will only receive the data necessary for the relevant functions and will undertake to use them only for the purposes indicated above and to treat them in compliance with the applicable privacy legislation. The data can also be communicated to the legitimate recipients according to the applicable legislation. With the exception of the aforementioned, the data is not shared with third parties, natural or legal persons, who do not perform any commercial, professional or technical function for the Controller and will not be disclosed. The subjects who receive the data treat it as Controllers, Managers or subjects authorized to process it, depending on the case, for the purposes indicated above and in compliance with the applicable law on privacy.

Regarding the possible transfer of data to Third Countries, including countries that may not guarantee the same level of protection as the applicable legislation, the Data Controller declares that the processing will take place according to one of the methods allowed by the Regulation, such as for example the user’s consent, the adoption of Standard Clauses approved by the European Commission, the selection of subjects belonging to international programs for free circulation of data, (eg. EU-USA Privacy Shield) or operating in countries considered safe by the European Commission.

5. WHO WILL YOUR PERSONAL DATA BE SHARED WITH?

Without the need for express consent ex art. 24 lett. a), b), d) of the Data Protection Code and art. 6 lett. b) and c) of [GDPR], the Data Controller may share your data for the purposes referred to in art. 2.A to companies providing IT and archival services, or other technical/organizational services as well as to those subjects to whom the communication is mandatory by law for the accomplishment of said purposes. These subjects will process the data in their capacity as independent data controllers. Your information will not be disseminated.

6. HOW DO WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA?

Personal data is stored on servers located within the European Union. In any case, it is understood that the Data Controller, if necessary, will have the right to move the servers even outside the EU. In this case, the Data Controller hereby ensures that the transfer of data outside the EU will take place in accordance with the applicable legal provisions, subject to the stipulation of the standard contractual clauses provided by the European Commission.

7. WHY DO WE COLLECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA AND WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU REFUSE TO PROVIDE IT?

The provision of data for the purposes referred to in art. 2.A is mandatory. In their absence, we can not guarantee the services listed in art. 2.A.
The provision of data for the purposes referred to in art. 2.B is optional. You can therefore decide not to provide any data or to subsequently deny the possibility to process data already given: in this case, you will not be able to receive newsletters, commercial and promotional communications concerning the Services offered by the Data Controller. However, you will continue to be entitled to the Services referred to in art. 2.A.

8. WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS?

In your capacity as an interested party, you have the rights set forth in art. 7 of the Data Protection Code and art. 15 of GDPR. Precisely, you have the right to:

i. obtain confirmation of the existence or not of personal data concerning you, even if not yet registered, and their communication in an intelligible form;

ii. obtain the indication: a) of the origin of personal data; b) of the purposes and methods of the processing; c) of the logic applied in case of processing carried out with the aid of electronic instruments; d) of the identification details of the controller, the managers and the designated representative pursuant to art. 5, paragraph 2 of the Data Protection Code and art. 3, paragraph 1, of GDPR; e) of the subjects or categories of subjects to whom the personal data may be shared with or who may become aware of it as a designated representative in the territory of the State, of managers or agents;

iii. obtain: a) the update, rectification or, when you have an interest in it, integration of data; b) the cancellation, transformation into anonymous form or blocking of data processed unlawfully, including data whose retention is unnecessary for the purposes for which the data was collected or subsequently processed; c) the attestation that the operations referred to in letters a) and b) have been brought to the attention, also as regards to their content, of those subjects with whom the data has been shared or disseminated, except in the case where this proves to be impossible or involves a use of means manifestly disproportionate to the protected right;

iv. to object, in whole or in part: a) for legitimate reasons, to the processing of personal data concerning you, even if pertinent to the purpose of the collection; b) to the processing of personal data concerning you for the purpose of sending advertising or direct sales material or for carrying out market research or commercial communication, through the use of automated call systems without the intervention of an operator by e-mail and/or through traditional marketing methods by telephone and/or paper mail. It should be noted that the right of opposition of the interested party, set out in point b) above, for direct marketing purposes through automated methods extends to traditional ones and that in any case the possibility remains for the data subject to exercise the right of opposition also only partially. Therefore, the interested party can decide to receive only communications using traditional methods or only automated communications or none of the two types of communication.

Where applicable, the data subject also has the rights referred to in Articles 16-21 of GDPR (right of rectification, right to be forgotten, right of limitation of treatment, right to data portability, right of opposition), as well as the right of complaint to the Guarantor Authority.

9. HOW CAN YOU EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS?

You can exercise your rights at any point by getting in touch with us:

➢ by email: sezione.italiana@iapb.it
➢ by post: IAPB Italia onlus – Via U. Biancamano, 25 – 00185 Rome, Italy
➢ by phone: +39 06 36004929 (fax 06 36086880)

10. DATA CONTROLLER AND DATA PROCESSORS

The Data Controller is IAPB Italy, with its registered office in Via U. Biancamano, 25 – 00185 Rome, Italy;
the updated list of data processors is kept at the Data Controller’s headquarters.

***

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By continuing to browse this website, you are consenting to their use in accordance with the regulations in force. Their use by the IAPB Italy has statistical purposes: in order to offer a better website, user data are periodically analyzed. Remember, however, that the Website user has, at any time, the possibility to block such cookies (small traceability programs) by modifying their browser’s settings accordingly.

As for the use of Google Analytics, the user can disable it by downloading and activating an additional browser component. Please note that Google uses collected Personal Data to track or examine the use of this Application, compile reports and share them with other services. Google may use personal data to contextualise and personalize the advertisements of its advertising network. In May 2018, the terms of Google’s Privacy Policy has also changed.

HOW TO DISABLE COOKIES THROUGH A BROWSER’S SETTINGS

By modifying the settings of your browser, you can manage cookies in order to respect your preferences. Each browser offers the possibility of accepting or not cookies in a specific manner for different websites and web applications. In addition, some browsers also allow you to define different settings for “First-party” and “Third-party” cookies.

Warning: disabling cookies may prevent the use of some features of this website. The disabling of “Third-party” cookies does not affect the browsing in any way.

The procedure slightly varies depending on the type of browser. For detailed instructions, follow one of the following links:

· Internet Explorer
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The normative reference is to the “Individuazione delle modalità semplificate per l’informativa e l’acquisizione del consenso per l’uso dei cookies” (Identification of the simplified procedure for the policy and acquisition of consent for the use of cookies) of 8th May 2014 (published on the Gazzetta Ufficiale, n. 126 of 3rd June 2014).

· For further information: website of the “Garante per la Privacy” (Italian Data Protection Authority).
· Read the EU Regulation

Please note: this website offers content for information purposes only, which cannot replace an eye examination.

Credits

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The materials of this website may not be reproduced, distributed or otherwise used without the prior written consent of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy or the Italian branch of IAPB. Private use may be only granted for the purpose of personal knowledge or research.

Paper based publications may quote brief passages of the texts in this website by using quotation marks and crediting us as a source (IAPB Italy). They should also expressly feature the www.iapb.it address in the same context or in the bibliography.

In the case of internet based publications, the original page which is being quoted should always be linked (however, it is forbidden to publish any content without prior consent: a written request should be sent to sezione.italiana@iapb.it). (Read all our Disclaimer)


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Disclaimer

GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR CONSULTATION OF THE WEBSITE WWW.IAPB.IT

Warranties, privacy regulations and limitations of liability

Every visitor is asked to carefully read the followings conditions of use or consultation of this website (www.iapb.it). The fact of continuing in the use of, or in the consultation of the website itself, constitutes complete and tacit acceptance of the following conditions and other applicable regulations by the visitor.

1. The entire content of this website is protected by copyright. No part of this website may be reproduced, re-transmitted or otherwise used without the written consent of the international Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy, if not for the exclusive purposes of personal knowledge, non-profit popularization and research.
In all cases of publication, texts can be quoted using quotation marks, while the source (the International Agency for the Prevention of the Blindness-IAPB Italy) must be explicitly specified, clearly stating at the same time the original internet address (www.iapb.it) in the context used or in the bibliography. In the case, however, where texts are used on other websites, you must always insert a link to the web page of the IAPB Italy from which the material was drawn (it is forbidden to freely reproduce these pages without express authorization [the requests for permission to reproduce the contents will be sent to [sezione.italiana@iapb.it]]).

2. Every reasonable effort is made to insert accurate and up-to-date information and data on the website. However, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy declines any responsibility in respect to the correctness of the data found within, and its use for any purpose; it specifies, in fact, that the information on this website is merely indicative and can not, and must not, replace any medical therapy. In all cases it is always advisable to consult a trusted ophthalmologist and follow the therapy prescribed after an eye exam.

3. Access to data, its use and content are intended to be at the user’s own risk. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy will not under any circumstance be held responsible for any special damage (direct, indirect or consequential and of any kind) deriving from the use or reliability of the available data.
The documentation on pharmaceutical products is not an alternative to the consultation of a physician or other qualified health professional. Furthermore, the opinions expressed on the website do not necessarily reflect the positions of all the members of the IAPB Italy. A visitor/user who wishes to receive advice on a specific health problem should therefore always consult their own doctor.
The documents and their related graphics published on this website may contain technical inaccuracies or typos. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy can make improvements or changes to the published information at any time.

4. Links to third-party websites lead out of this website and are outside the control of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy. Links to third-party websites are provided solely for visitor’s convenience and the inclusion of any third-party link does not imply the endorsement of the external website by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy. In particular, the information featured in the external website may not comply with the Legislative Degree no. 541/92, which regulates the advertising of medical products for human use.

5. If a visitor/user of this website wishes to forward questions, comments, suggestions and the like relating to the documents published on this same website, the content of the data will be considered unconfidential for the purpose of study, research and publication. However, the identity of the person will not be disclosed: it is “anonymized” in compliance with the law on privacy.

6. Visits to this website can be tracked. The international Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy will have the right to use such recordings for statistic evaluations, in order to ensure continuity of service and for the improvement of its websites. Please, do not use this website if you are in disagreement with this practice.

7. This website can be publicly accessed without automatically downloading undesired files (such as cookies or spywares). For those sections which are subject to the registration of personal data, please refer to the legislation regarding the protection of privacy [See [EU Regulation no. 679/2016 and Legislative Decree no. 196/2003]].

8. On the basis of what was written by the Italian Privacy Authority in the “Guidelines on the processing of personal data for the purpose of publication and dissemination in websites exclusively dedicated to health” [Published in the Italian Official Gazette no. 42, February 20, 2012]], the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy draws the attention of the user to the risk that by entering sensitive data linked to identifying data on this website, they can be identified with their own specific pathology. This warning is also intended to indicate the necessary measures to protect one’s own and others’ privacy in the [forum of the www.iapb.it website. Therefore the International Agency for the prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy specifies the following:

a) the name and surname are not requested during the registration procedure: it is possible to maintain anonymity by simply using a nickname as a username, which prevents personal identity from being traced;
b) a user’s e-mail address is not automatically published;
c) with regard to the contents entered by the user, it is recommended to:

I) reflect on the opportunity to insert, or not, personal data (including the e-mail address) that can reveal, even indirectly, their identity. Consider, for instance, the case in which the user, in detailing their own experience or describing their state of health, includes references to places, people, circumstances and contexts that also indirectly allow their identity to be traced;
II) pay particular attention to the possibility of inserting, in their own interventions (posted on the various areas dedicated to health), data that can also indirectly reveal the identity of third parties such as, for instance, other people who share the same pathology, human experience or medical path of the post’s author;
III) be fully aware that the text published in the forum of this website (i.e. what is posted) is automatically indexed by Google and other search engines. Therefore, if you do not want this to occur, you can use the same service of ophthalmological consultation by sending your request exclusively by e-mail to info@iapb.it. This way, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy gives the user the full right to opt between a confidential request (strictly personal) and a request which will be published on the forum and that can be consulted by everybody.

Italian classification and quantification of Visual Impairment

Cieco con accompagnatore

The Italian Law of 3 April 2001, no. 138, established a classification of visual impairment that takes into consideration not only residual vision, as the previous legislation did (Laws no. 66/62, 382/70, 33/80, 660/84), but also the residual binocular visual field. This classification identifies five levels of visual impairment: total blindness, partial blindness, severe visual impairment, moderate visual impairment and mild visual impairment.

TOTAL BLINDNESS

Cieco con accompagnatore
Cieco con accompagnatore
Those who are affected by complete vision loss in both eyes.
Those who have a mere perception of light and shadow, or of hand motion in the best eye.
Those who have a peripheral binocular visual field residual lower than 3%.

PARTIAL BLINDNESS

Those who have a visual acuity no greater than 1/20 in both eyes or in the best eye, even with the best correction.
Those who have a peripheral binocular visual field residual lower than 10%.

SEVERE VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

Those who have a visual acuity no higher than 1/10 in both eyes or in the best eye even with the best correction.
Those who have a peripheral binocular visual field residual lower than 30%.

MODERATE VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

visita_oculistica_anziano-web.jpgThose who have a visual acuity no greater than 2/10 in both eyes or in the best eye even with the best correction.
Those who have a peripheral binocular visual field residual lower than 50%.

MILD VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

Those who have a visual acuity no greater than 3/10 in both eyes or in the best eye even with the best correction.
Those who have a peripheral binocular visual field residual lower than 60%.

Information document by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness – IAPB Italy

Low Vision Rehabilitation

ipovedente fa riabilitazione visiva
ipovedente fa riabilitazione visiva

WHAT IS LOW VISION REHABILITATION?

Low vision is a condition of greatly reduced visual capacity, irreversible and bilateral (it affects both eyes), which conditions and limits the autonomy of an individual, compromising the performance of normal daily tasks. Unfortunately, vision loss cannot be regained; however it is possible to learn how to maximize the use of the retinal zones that are still functioning. This goal can be achieved through vision rehabilitation, which consists of a personalized path that – through an appropriate classification of the visually impaired person – allows the preservation of the residual vision (optimizing its use). In this way, a person can overcome some “disabilities” and maintain or recover their social life, communication and planning abilities, improving their quality of life.

WHEN IS IT NECESSARY?

Vision rehabilitation is a path that should be undertaken by people with low vision regardless of the cause and the age of onset.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO?

The first step of vision rehabilitation is the classification of the visually impaired person, with particular attention given their requests, needs and psychological difficulties related to their visual impairment. This phase requires the intervention of several professional figures with specialized competences i.e. a psychologist, an ophthalmologist and a rehabilitating orthoptist. The actual rehabilitation period then follows with a series of meetings in which the visually impaired person learns to make the best use of aids, identified to meet their requests (optical, electronic and computer aids). Sometimes home-based hand-eye coordination exercises are also assigned with appropriate checks in subsequent meetings. In the future it will be possible to do exercises from home using a computer equipped with special software.

In some cases it may be necessary to use visual stimulation (biofeedback), which is practiced using an instrument called a microperimeter.

HOW LONG DOES A REHABILITATION SESSION LAST ON AVERAGE?

riabilitazione-visiva-polo_nazionale-oculista_e_ortottista-web-ok-photospip4542676d9f63ad3018df77e2de2a8bc4.jpgVisual rehabilitation sessions can require a varied amount of time (but usually a single session doesn’t last for more than an hour) depending on the visual condition of the individual, their requests, age, the characteristics of the aids, etc. In the case of visual stimulation through biofeedback, the sessions last for half an hour on average.

HOW OFTEN IS IT NECESSARY TO GO TO A SPECIALIZED CENTRE?

The frequency of visual rehabilitation sessions is variable. On average 4-5 meetings (1-2 times per week) may be sufficient to learn how to use the optical, electronic and/or computer aids. When necessary visual stimulation techniques may be used, in which case, some cycles of treatment are practiced, (usually 10-15 minute sessions, twice a week), possibly to be repeated over time after a period of observation.

WHAT RESULTS CAN BE OBTAINED?

During visual rehabilitation the still functioning retinal areas are identified and exploited. The objective of a rehabilitative program is to enable the visually impaired person to utilize these areas as much as possible, so as to improve their visual perception and quality of life.

How to book an eye examination for your child

Bambini al Polo Nazionale

DIAGNOSTIC AND VISION REHABILITATION CENTRE
FOR CHILDREN WITH MULTISENSORY DEFICIT
(CE.DI.RI.VI.)

Appointments are scheduled at the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic Hospital in Rome, in cooperation with the National Centre for Vision Rehabilitation of the IAPB Italy. The service is reserved for children affected by multisensory deficits, in particular for infants aged between 0 and 3 years old

Bambini al Polo Nazionale
Bambini al Polo Nazionale

Useful phone contact: +39 06 87763115, available from Monday to Friday (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CET). It will be requested to the parents to send the documents about their child specifying the pathology and the reason of the examination (e-mail: polonazionale@iapb.it). Later on they will be contacted to schedule an appointment.

Our Centre accepts children from 0 to 3 years old who have eye or brain problems, therefore even associated to other motor and sensorial deficit. The multidisciplinary team include several specialists who take care both of the diagnosis and child’s rehabilitation: ophthalmologist, child neuro-psychiatrist, pediatrician, geneticist, orthoptist and neuro-psychomotility therapist.

Therefore it’s possible to follow a diagnostic, assessment and rehabilitation path.

Our appointments on outpatient base (lunch is available for children who stay until afternoon).

In case of first examination, mostly for families non resident in Rome, an evaluation in more days is foreseen always in day hospital scheme (without overnight stay in the hospital).

In the diagnostic phase all professional figures before mentioned can be present; in the evaluation and the rehabilitation path the following are available: ophthalmologist (if necessary), child neuro-psychiatrist, orthoptist and neuro-psychomotility therapist.

The team is always available to welcome colleagues and teachers who follow children in the territory of residence, both during and after the examinations. When direct contact is not possible, during the examinations (with the consent of parents) some photos and videos of the activities and adviced the materials can be taken.

DIAGNOSTIC AND VISION REHABILITATION CENTRE FOR CHILDREN WITH MULTY-SENSORIAL DEFICIT (CE.DI.RI.VI.) at Polyclinic A. Gemelli, Largo Agostino Gemelli, 8 – 00168 Rome, Italy.

How to book an eye examination for an adult

Reception del Polo Nazionale

To book an examination at the National Centre for Vision Rehabilitation in Rome simply call the phone no. +39 06 36004929 and select the #2 key. The service is available from Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (CET). Alternatively you can go directly to the National Centre at the Agostino Gemelli Hospital, L.go A. Gemelli 8 – Rome, Italy (building C, second floor). Thanks to the administrative office of the National Centre it is possible to book an eye examination for people experiencing significant visual impairment.

ACCEPTANCE

Reception del Polo Nazionale
Reception del Polo Nazionale
Upon arrival at the National Centre a secretary will provide you with the necessary documents for the payment of the service that you have booked. With these documents you are required to go to the help desk of the Ophthalmological Department at the same Hospital, which is open from 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. (Monday to Friday) and can be found on the second floor. In the case of an afternoon appointment, the payment should be made on the third floor (with the same documents). The administrative office of the centre will take documents and open a medical record.

Quality Certification

riabilitazione-visiva-polo_nazionale-oculista_e_ortottista-web-ok-photospip4542676d9f63ad3018df77e2de2a8bc4.jpg

High quality low vision rehabilitation at the National Center

The Low Vision Center at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome respects excellent standards of different aspects of its services

riabilitazione-visiva-polo_nazionale-oculista_e_ortottista-web-ok-photospip4542676d9f63ad3018df77e2de2a8bc4.jpgThe National Centre of Services and Research for the Prevention of Blindness and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired has obtained and renewed an important quality certification, in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 9001:2008 standard. This highlights the high levels of its activity, particularly in the following areas:

  • preventive medicine;
  • programming and execution of rehabilitation treatments for patients with low vision;
  • epidemiological research;
  • basic research;
  • experimenting with new rehabilitation models;
  • use of advanced optical and electronic aids for low vision;
  • use of visual-functional evaluation software;
  • training and updating of healthcare professionals;
  • networking activities (with other Visual Rehabilitation Centers) and advocacy.

polo-riabilitazione-microperimetro-paz_med-2-web.jpgAs far as the quality level is concerned, external experts assessed the consistency of the policy, objectives and strategies of the National Center, with a large commitment by the head of IAPB Italy to auditing procedures, which led to a careful qualitative assessment. All this has taken place in the framework of an excellent and fruitful collaboration with the A. Gemelli Hospital. Great staff preparation, including the technicians, is an obvious guarantee for all patients. The National Centre is, among other things, a WHO Collaborating Centre on Prevention of Blindness and Rehabilitation. It started as a project of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy, which became reality thanks to Law no. 291/03. Inaugurated in autumn 2007, it has been running since 2008 at the Gemelli Hospital in Rome.

What we do

polo_nazionale-8-riabilitazione_tris-signora.jpg

National Centre of Services and Research for the Prevention of Blindness and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired

Our Visual Rehabilitation Team

polo_nazionale-8-riabilitazione_tris-signora.jpgThe team of the National Centre of Services and Research for the Prevention of Blindness and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired (“Polo Nazionale” in Italian) consists of various professionals with highly specialised skills and expertise These include ophthalmologists, orthoptists, a psychologist/psychotherapist and external consultants, such as an expert typhologist and an orientation and mobility instructor. If required, it is also possible to receive other specialist advice, such as from a neurologist or neuropsychiatrist.

The approach of the multidisciplinary team is holistic in nature and considers man as a whole, as beings composed of mind and body. The knowledge of the close relationship between these two different aspects of human reality requires a different clinical approach to the person who is visually impaired. In fact, there can not be a suffering of the body without the involvement of the psyche.

DIAGNOSTIC PATH

polo-riabilitazione-microperimetro-paz_med-2-web-2.jpgThe person who accesses the National Centre for Visual Rehabilitation will meet the psychologist, who has the function of:

welcoming the person by listening and recognizing their subjective dimension;
exploring the patient’s emotional state, the difficulties and any psychological discomfort experienced in reference to the disease;
identifying the needs, requests and any non-expressed expectations;
examining the reasons or motivation for requesting rehabilitation;
making the visually impaired person and their his family feel part of the treatment process.

Therefore, psychological support is both individual and family related (support in the management of issues relating to disability). The support meetings are agreed and shared with the patient: they can take place concurrently with the rehabilitation process or occur on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Before the patient’s eye examination, the psychologist refers any relevant information to the ophthalmologist to encourage a more empathetic relationship between doctor and patient.

MICROPERIMETRY

ipovedente-riabilitazione-visiva-web-okimg_1550.jpgThe eye examination begins with a careful collection of general and ophthalmological data (clinical history of an individual),l, followed by an accurate assessment of visual acuity and reading skills, an objective physical examination (evaluation of the anterior segment eye, ocular tonometry, fundus), a contrast sensitivity test, an evaluation of the chromatic sense and the testing of the filters, both indoors and outdoors.

The diagnostic procedures practiced are as follows:
microperimetry, which aims to:

  • determine the breadth and depth of the scotoma (area of non-vision or reduced vision), the width of the scotoma and its relationship with the foveal region (central area of the retina that permits 100% visual acuity);
  • evaluate the behaviour of fixation (stability and eccentricity) and the characteristics of the PRL (Preferred Retinal Point or pseudofovea point, i.e. the area of the retina used for distinct vision following irreversible damage of the macula, the central area of the fine photosensitive tissue);
  • explore the functional state of the retina;
  • identify the orientation of the rehabilitation program;
  • search for the best Preferred Retinal Locus;
  • make a prediction on a possible functional recovery;
  • calculate the angle of decentralization;
  • examine the binocular visual field according to the Zingirian-Gandolfo program, which is important for the quantification of retinal damage, in particular in the form of peripheral hypovision and in the mixed type, for medical-legal purposes and, therefore, for the assessment of the invalidity.

Any additional diagnostic examinations (OCT, retinal fluorescein angiography, electrophysiological tests) are planned on the basis of observed clinical reports.

MEETING AS A TEAM

Once the diagnostic procedure has been completed and full information about the patient has been acquired, the team at the National Centre meets to create a personalized rehabilitation program. The meeting is attended by all the specialists of the Centre (psychologist, ophthalmologists and orthoptists) and, when necessary, also by external consultants (such as the orientation and mobility instructor and a typhologist.

REHABILITATION PATH

polo_nazionale-7-videoingranditore.jpgThe rehabilitation program is personalized and built on the individual needs of each visually impaired patient. Cutting edge instruments and equipment are used for rehabilitation and we are in direct contact with companies in this sector. Meetings are periodically arranged with these firms, where technological updates are provided, along with presentations and demonstrations of new innovative devices (the fruits of advanced research).

READING WITH NEW VIDEO SYSTEMS

The contexts in which rehabilitation paths are devised include the following: :

  • reading rehabilitation:
  • training with optical and electronic aids (for example video magnifiers for low vision, telescopic systems, aplanatic lenses, etc.);
  • rehabilitation for intermediate distance activities;
  • rehabilitation for long distance activities;
  • use of computer software;
  • biofeedback with the microperimeter to stabilize fixation;
  • typhlological aids.

Each phase requires a series of meetings with the orthoptist in charge of the rehabilitation, with the aim of helping each patient make the most of their functional residual vision, and identifying the most suitable optical and/or electronic aids for their individual needs. Furthermore , the orthoptist can assign “ home exercises” to strengthen and reinforce the results obtained during outpatient training.

CLOSING OF THE REHABILITATION PATH

At the end of the rehabilitation program the specialist can prescribe the most suitable aids to meet the requirements of the visually impaired person so to improve their quality of life.

CONCLUSION

The aim of the National Centre for Visual Rehabilitation is to take charge of the patient as a whole, paying particular attention to their existential difficulties and any psychological issues related to the visual state that affects, and will affect them, both from a clinical point of view (taking into account conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease) and in terms of their quality of life.

The ophthalmologist dealing with rehabilitation becomes the “central link” – with the other specialists and the clinical ophthalmologist and/or surgeon, and can monitor, and if appropriate, support the therapeutic and rehabilitative program.

Good visual rehabilitation can only be achieved as a result of a team effort and is not the consequence of just an individual work!

Please contact the National Centre of Services and Research for the Prevention of Blindness and Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired