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“Bioptic Driving — What Is It? Could it Work for You?”: Background and a Webinar

If you, or someone you know, have low vision and are thinking about whether driving could be possible with bioptic lenses, check with an eyecare professional and state driver’s license agency. Individuals who are eligible can then make their own decisions about driving. To get some familiarity with the topic, VisionAware, a program of the American Printing House for the Blind (APH), provides some background information and will offer a live webinar later this month. A bioptic lens uses miniature telescopes attached to eyeglasses that can be prescribed by optometrists or ophthalmologists who specialize in low vision. The prescription lenses can accommodate people who have central vision loss. Most of the time the driver will continue to use the main eyeglass lens, switching to the bioptic lens to check details or hazards on the road. Driving with these lenses requires skills in distance viewing and object awareness as well as “basic bioptic usage skills.” Most states require some training prior to issuing a license to drive with bioptic lenses. For drivers with low vision, additional concerns are glare and contrast sensitivity. The ability to differentiate between an object and its background, contrast sensitivity difficulties can affect driving activities by making it harder to see curbs and faded road surface markings, for example. For more information, including specific qualifications needed for driving with low vision, read the VisionAware article on “Bioptic Driving–What Is It? Could It Work for You?”.

Learn About “The Basics of Bioptics and Bioptic Driving” During Webinar on February 28, 2023

Presenters at this program, via Zoom, will provide an overview of available bioptic lens systems as well as requirements for driver readiness, “misconceptions about bionic driving,” state laws, advocacy efforts, and more. Speakers are Chuck Huss, COMS, Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and former coordinator, Low Vision Driver Services, West Virginia Rehabilitation Center, and Steve Kelley, CVRT, CATIS. Register here for “The Basics of Bioptics and Bioptic Driving.”