Centre for Sight Enhancement / Low Vision Clinic

General Information

Centre for Sight Enhancement / Low Vision Clinic
Centre for Sight Enhancement
Waterloo Ontario Canada N2L 3G1
(519) 888 4708

Brief Description

Located within the University of Waterloo's School of Optometry & Vision Science, the Low Clinic provide a comprehensive range of vision rehabilitation services, including assessment, prescription, instruction and rehabilitation; information and referral for medical, social, educational, vocational and financial services; liaison with applicable government programs and services, and groups serving the low vision population; consultation with and referral to other specialty clinics within the School of Optometry & Vision Science and to community services; and basic and clinical research into various aspects of low vision.


Linda Jackson, Intake Coordinator, Low Vision Clinic, linda.jackson@uwaterloo.ca, 519 888 4708

Tammy Labreche, OD, Director, Centre for Sight Enhancement, Clinical Associate Professor, Head Habiltiation Clinics, tammy.labreche@uwaterloo.ca, 519 888 4567 ext.37742

Ann Plotkin, OD, Professor Emeritus, aplotkin@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca, 519 888 4708

Kristin Snell, Administrator, kdsnell@uwaterloo.ca, 519 888 4567 ext.36282

Melinda Szilva, RP, Low Vision Rehabilitation Counsellor, mmszilva@uwaterloo.ca, 519 888 4567 ext.36763

Services Offered

  • Assessment
    • Assessment and prescription of low vision devices. Assessment for the Ministry of Transportation Vision Waiver Program, Activities of Daily Living & Device Training Assessments and High Technology Assessments.

  • Assistive Products
    • Distributes products for activities of daily living for sale to clients. Products for sale on site.

  • Community Outreach Programs
    • Offers geriatric outreach services to institutional settings and homebound elderly clients in Waterloo region.

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Assessment for high technology assistive devices. The computer assessment explores visual adaptations (e.g. specialized screen enlargement and scanning software) to optimize computer access for those with low vision and blindness. In the CCTV assessments we explore the functionality of specialized video-based magnifiers for reading and writing. Handheld, table-top, head mounted or portable systems can aid with viewing tasks such as reading books, blackboards, presentations or sporting events.

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • Provides on-site technical support.

  • Counseling
    • Offers counselling services related to low vision issues to clients and their families. Support services such as career planning/vocational adjustment, individual, couple, or family counselling, assistance with smoking cessation,information about community resources and/or help with applications for financial assistance are available.

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Provides low vision rehabilitation. As an extension to the Low Vision Assessment, potential optical aids are further assessed and training is provided. Strategies and techniques to maximize your vision and assist with daily living activities are also explored.

  • Health Services
    • Provides low vision assessment while patients continue to see their own eye care practitioner.

  • Information and Referral
    • Refers to community-based services for clients as needed.

  • Low Vision Devices
    • Prescribes and supplies low vision devices.

  • Low Vision Services
    • In a low vision assessment we evaluate an individual’s functional vision and explore the usefulness of low vision devices for desired visual activities. These devices may range from simple optical devices such as hand/stand magnifiers to complex lens systems,including spectacle mounted telescopes and microscopes, prisms, filters and video based devices. These devices may be helpful for reading, watching TV, seeing faces, viewing a presentation, shopping and other visual activities. The low vision clinician coordinates with all the other low vision services (high technology, daily living, CCTV, and counsellor)to provide the best options to the individual. Low vision assessments are performed by low vision residency-trained optometrists and optometric interns.

  • Professional Training
    • Offers low vision residency programs.

  • Services for Seniors