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OIB Live Forum - Remote Instruction

We invite you to participate in a conversation about remote instruction on Thursday, March 19, at 2 pm eastern, 1 pm central, noon mountain, and 11 am pacific on the OIB-TAC's Community of Practice (www.oib-tac.org). As we are all limited in how much interaction we can have with our consumers, we want to share ideas and resources that can help us to provide services. We look forward to a lively discussion and your participation. To participate in the forum, please click any "add a comment” button with any questions or insights you may have about the topic. Information will be added for an hour while our experts answer your questions. There is no audio or video.

If you have trouble logging in to your account or cannot access your account, please email Simon Marcy at smarcy@colled.msstate.edu. He can notify you of your user name or edit your password.

Sylvia Perez and Kendra Farrow, from the OIB-TAC, are both experienced certified vision rehabilitation therapists. Their direct service experiences and extensive observations of OIB programs across the country will help them in leading our discussion on providing remote instruction during the COVID 19 outbreak. Feel free to post your questions or ideas on how remote instruction might occur.

Comments

Marsha Egan's picture

Thank you.
Kimberly Stumph's picture

If they have a second individual with them, then this can work well. Be on a videoconferencing platform (Skype, Facetime, Google Chat, Zoom, etc). You can verbalize instructions but observe what the client . The second person is to aim the camera and to see how you model the skill so they can model to the client if needed. If there is not a second person, you can still try to use a video conferencing platform. It will be harder for them to set up, but that in and of itself can be a lesson. Since you need a second person for the majority of the technique, you may not be able to provide a comprehensive treatment of the topic.
Ed Haines's picture

Hi Marsha, Hadley has a whole bunch of instructional tutorials on human guide as well as other O&M topics. https://hadley.edu/lowvision/Getting_Around.asp
Sylvia Perez's picture

Orientation and mobility training are especially training during these times of “social distancing”. As some have indicated, the “rules” of engagement differ from region to region. For those still able to provide some training, it is probably so appreciated by those consumers. Now is probably the time O&M specialists focus on safety first… safety for themselves and for their consumers. Some ideas for phone/virtual training might be as follows: Describe the trailing technique, describe the protective technique, describe search patterns, planning routes, Discussion of requesting assistance and self-advocacy, discussion about transportation alternatives using visual and non-visual cues in the community for way finding, discussing technology for orientation and mobility, such as GPS, AIRA, etc.
Malinda Carlson's picture

Also don't forget that O&M's can use Google Earth and talk with client about the routes they are currently taking, alternatives, etc. Again - a stop gap but better than nothing
Marc Wentz's picture

Good thoughts, thank you
Teri Chamberlin's picture

Hello! Our staff is currently utilizing FaceTime with participants who own cell phones. Both VRTs and O&Ms describe, in detail, what VRT and O&M entails, and how to complete tasks. The go from easy concepts to more difficult, individualizing teaching for each person. We anticipate this will create a good knowledge base from which they'll be able to segue into face to face performance of these topics. This will keep each person engaged and interested in learning skills, while concurrently decreasing the risk of decompensating emotionally due to the side effects of isolation.
Sylvia Perez's picture

I think using Face time is a great option. I also think sometimes we under-estimate the skills our consumers have or the ones that necessity can help them learn quickly. I know I have figured out a few things in technology recently due to absolute necessity. It might take sme explaining… and pointing them to some Hadley training. But once you get people using facetime, zoom or some option like that then they might be hooked. It’s a great opportunity to build peer groups as well. Try to develop some facebook groups as well and allow consumers to assist each other.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

I agree that we underestimate our consumers interest and abilities when it comes to the computer and technology. I talk about how my older mother in law has an I-pad and I don't. They are on the technology to keep up with the grandkids.
Marilynn Ward-Tluszcz's picture

I know that many of the meals on wheels delivery people are seniors...if they get sick...it would seem that our roles could be in assisting with meal delivery back up if it is needed. Many of our consumers rely upon this program...just a thought
Aimee Volk's picture

I had the same thought...we are planning on doing a lot of follow up by phone and making a concerted effort to ask if they are getting everything they need. One thought was in some of the rural areas can we help with MOW or grocery delivery and how would this look in the OIB program. Right now we are a state just trying to reach out and help our communities.
Malinda Carlson's picture

As a state agency, if we don't have sufficient work, we could be reassigned to helping with meal prep in our agency kitchen.
Pat Duyck's picture

Malinda...what state are you in?
Malinda Carlson's picture

Oregon - It hasn't happened yet but it is a great way to keep state employees, who have no remote work to do, on the payroll.
Maria Proschan's picture

Many communities are forming groups and they are offering assistance and suggestions. I have gotten info through "next Door".
Sylvia Perez's picture

Hi, I want to applaud all attempting to meet client needs in tough times. It is a time we all will learn to be innovative and true problem-solvers. I also want to say “remote training is not new.” It is just new to many of us. Consider how important your communications skills now have to be. These were important before, but now even more so. Think about how you might describe something to someone who like me has no functional vision. You need to use specific terms in your over-the-phone or virtual training. As for aids and devices, I would recommend only providing basic devices at this time. Things that are really difficult to “explain” can wait. But, getting things like hand-held magnifiers (if you can figure out the best ones or just sending ones already prescribed), talking watches (already set), calendars and writing guides will all help. Telephone assessments are likely to become very common for the next few months. The goal of these assessments at this point is to assess safety. It’s a different world right now. We need to determine what their major challenges are as a result of being isolated in their homes. Some important questions to ask might be: • Are you able to dial the phone to call 911, important family or friends, etc? • Are you able to get your medications and food? • Are you able to safely navigate your home? • Do you have activities to keep yourself engaged or busy? Then providing some basic resources (info and referral) can be provided over the phone. The OIB-TAC Lessons for Living have great instructional content, including teaching a person to dial their phone. As a counselor or teacher, you can review these and work with clients right over the phone or using video chat. If possible to get them talking books, and have books about coping with vision loss sent to them that can be a great resource. If they are having difficulty getting medication or food, connect them to local resources such as pharmacy delivery and Area Agency on Aging. Connecting them to a peer or support group, whether one you run or another one will be of great benefit to the consumer as well. Regarding equipment, it is probably best to keep to the most basic equipment, so the individual does not get overwhelmed. If you have an eye medical you might could “sort of” and I use that very loosely figure out a hand-held magnifier that could help. I guess now is not the time to talk about Best Practice… as we are all in Crisis Practice… so it might be a guessing game… but a magnifier sent out might help. I am not sure how many items you will be able to order, so hopefully, some still have stock.
Bill Hixson's picture

I know we have to thing of new ways to do business but I have concerns conducting an assessment over the phone. Having individuals assess their own safety can be limiting. They may not be aware of how they currently do activities is a safety concern. It will take a skilled professional to "walk though" the steps of various activities to help assess safety concerns. Individuals will have to be active listeners and be able to ask followup questions effectively
Malinda Carlson's picture

I think that we just have to do our best job and when we are allowed in=person lessons again, go back and reassess.
Kendra Farrow's picture

Yes, I agree that it takes skill to know how to listen and ask good follow-up questions. In my experience, asking if they are safe isn't the right approach. We should ask something like, do you often bump your head, or have you burned yourself in the kitchen recently, or are you comfortable doing... These questions get at the heart of safety without making the client feel like we might push them into a nursing home if we find enough evidence of them being unsafe.
Marc Wentz's picture

Very true! Some of the folks I have seen feel they are safe travelers and will not admit to bumping into objects or people or tripping on curbs. Often times, an assessment or interview with a family member determines otherwise.
Ed Haines's picture

Hi Ed Haines with Hadley here. There are a number of different free resources Hadley has available both for clients and professionals. "Practical Help for Low Vision" are free audio recordings you can order for clients related to all thing IL. Available on CD, DTB or flash drive. https://hadley.edu/lowvision/form/
Jessica Caswell's picture

I was in the middle of teaching a ten week iPad class when COVID-19 hit. I had to cancel the classes, but have been sending weekly check ins, with homework. To keep them using their iPads. I’ve been sending links to a different Hadley video each week and asking them to email me three things they learned from the video.
Lisa Sluszka's picture

I plan to use the Hadley tutorials as well; I like your idea of asking them to submit 3 things they learned.
Antony Delmonte's picture

Hi Ed, Just wanted to say that I have done teaching and training in a number of fields and that you folks do an OUTSTANDING job in the videos you produce. The pace, volume, and clarity are excellent and very helpful. Very professionally done. Thank you. Will check out the link.
Antony Delmonte's picture

Lots of older folks don't have computers but some do. Any feedback on setting this up and what's needed. I've never done it before myself but am willing to learn. Wondering what kind of set up is needed.
Kendra Farrow's picture

Hi, I would suggest that a lot can be accomplished through a telephone call. Skype can provide a visual interface, but the signal is not always strong and with the limited sight, of the consumer, it is probably not helpful to them. Since you probably won't be able to go to the consumer's home to set up a system, we should probably stick with the path of least resistance.
Stephanie Jensen's picture

Even for someone sighted, a phone call could be easiest.
Matt's picture

Also, a good number of my clients have no computer and have difficulty even dialing a regular phone. Phone consults are probably best at this time, but the more technological clients may have better options. Depends on the person and what needs training. I'm O&M by the way, and though we have not been restricted officially to see anyone as of yet, I have done so willing to limit exposure. I might do something with someone if it's an outdoor lesson and it's on the streets or something, but any of the training areas I normally use are closed anyhow.
Melissa 's picture

Antony, do you have anyone who does computer technology sorts of things where you work? they could remote into the individuals computer and set it up for facetime, skype, zoom. FaceTime is apple specific and only works on apple devices. otherwise maybe use Zoom or Skype? with this you could email out a link that would start the chat. sometimes Skype or Zoom will already be on a newer computer but most of the time is has to be downloaded.
Antony Delmonte's picture

We do Melissa. Thank you. That makes sense. Will check with my supervisor and our AT person on site. Not ashamed to say I'm still learning. Thank you for your help. Much appreciated.
Crystal Jackson Cheek's picture

There is a checklist you can use to determine if a person is ready for a computer, voice assistant or tablet. We also have Daily Living skills classes in various counties across the state where the counselors and their instructors teach IOS and Android basics. They also will do in home training too. I can send you the checklist if you like. One of the questions is do you have WiFi?
Melinda Underwood's picture

Hi Crystal - could you share the checklist on this forum as a link or in any other way?
Crystal Jackson Cheek's picture

I could not figure out how to share on here. Here are the question on the checklist they are specific for an iPad but you can change to your needs. Consumer’s Name: ______________________________ Responses recorded by: _________________________ Date of interview: _________ Recommended steps to determine eligibility for iPad Purchase/Training. 1. Does consumer have internet and wifi access and know their password? 2. Are you using a computer or smart phone to do research, store information, or send emails? 3. What benefits are you seeking from an iPad that you cannot currently gain from your current technology? 4. Would an Echo product be helpful/sufficient to meet your needs? 5. If you desire and Echo product, do you have a trusted friend or relative, close by, who could come by to help you set it up? 6. Will you be relying more on magnification and contrast or voice and screen reading applications? 7. Are you able to repeat gestures and steps using an instructor’s iPad (navigate desktop, read news, play music, open app)? 8. Have you demonstrated a commitment to follow in learning and using new skills and information? 9. Are you eligible for needs based services?
Fritz Nuffer's picture

Have we started?
Emily Damm's picture

Hello, Yes, the forum has started. To participate, just ask your questions and comment on others by adding a comment! Thanks, Emily
Crystal Jackson Cheek's picture

Yes, the forum has started. You can ask a question, answer a question or just read some of the great information being shared.
Ed Haines's picture

We also have a free downloadable guide for caretakers you can print out and give to families, nursing home staff, etc https://hadley.edu/LowVisionBinder_register.asp
Ed Haines's picture

For professionals stuck in the office - all our seminars that come with CE credits are now free. Just enter “FreeCE” in the scholarship/discount field upon registration. https://hadley.edu/SeminarsForCE.asp
Pat Duyck's picture

Thanks Ed! You are a fantastic resource!!!!
Melissa 's picture

I’m a VRT O&M working with mainly older adults who are now going into self-quarantine to prevent from getting the CORVID 19 virus. Are you continuing instruction with people remotely? One of the major things we provide is low vision evaluations. Is anyone doing that remotely and how? What about other instruction on devices such as IPads, CCTV’s, Phones, cooking, sewing, I had thought I could maybe put together and deliver a sanitized magnification kit for a client to go though with me over the phone but not being able to see what the client is doing to help them would be challenging. the kit could then be sanitized and used again. any ideas on how to be able to see what's happening so client's can be instructed remotely? I know the VA is doing this telehealth sort of thing but i'm not sure how it works.
Marilynn Ward-Tluszcz's picture

I'm in Maryland and we are not permitted to meet with consumers...we also do not have vendors going out at this time...consumers over 60 are to self-quarantine. I have sent magnifiers to the consumers but advised them to upack it outside...clean it off before they use it and wash there hands after they unpack it.
Ed Haines's picture

Hi Melissa, If you want to provide Apple product training you could try Hadley's tutorials. We've had plenty of folks learn how to use their iDevices just through the audio. https://hadley.edu/InstructionalVideos/iPhone_and_iPad.asp
Malinda Carlson's picture

We can talk about glare and lighting remotely.
Nancy Harper's picture

I talked to home health staff person and one thing they recommended: to clean equipment we send or provide to them.
Ed Haines's picture

And Hadley is now hosting some really fun discussion groups for older adults with low vision. There's one or two a week and clients just have to call in. Here's a list: https://hadley.edu/discussions/
Lea Dias's picture

Hi, I echo the question someone had about remotely assisting seniors with setting up these platforms on their phones or computers. Was there any answer?
Stephanie Jensen's picture

There is the thought that seniors don't learn with things such as Hadley, Lessons for Living, and other remote resources. Children don't learn from online resources either, for that matter. However, I see that there isn't much of a choice. These are stop-gaps and we do what we need to do. What other thoughts and ideas are there on combating the idea that remote instruction isn't effective and so on.
Ed Haines's picture

Hi Stephanie, nothing replaces hands-on training of course. But Hadley has had 100 years of experience with seniors learning by distance and I encourage you to have your clients give us a try.
Amy McClellan's picture

At Hadley how do they plan to handle to influx of new learners?
Ed Haines's picture

Great question! We are just about to launch our new website (within a month or so) that is directly geared to Seniors and designed to engage them with immediate learning content and live professionals in real time. We'll also offer everything in LP and braille as well for offline folks. We expect a huge upswing in visitors and committed learners and are just now grappling with how we're going to be able to provide enough live interaction with our professionals. We're currently touching about 170,000 learners a year and expect that to increase by many multiples. So its a big job and we're currently putting plans in place. Stay tuned!

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