UTHSCSA Faculty Profiles v1.0

Chan, Yuen Ying Jacqueline

School of Medicine

As a clinician, I work at Lions Low Vision Rehabilitation Center of Texas and MARC. As an assistant professor, I teach UT Health San Antonio ophthalmology medical students and military ophthalmology residents on low vision, optics of low vision devices, low vision and optical instruments.

Low Vision uses a multidisciplinary approach to maximize an individual?s functional vision. Low Vision devices and assistive technology evaluation improve quality of life as individuals learn to deal with their visual impairment.

A person is considered to have low vision when they have a loss of visual function that cannot be improved optically or medically and requires rehabilitation. This typically means their best corrected distance visual acuity in the better-seeing eye is less than 20/70. They may also have central scotoma, visual field constrictions and/or cortical visual impairment. Individuals with low vision have difficulty with activities of daily living (ADL). Rehabilitation help maximize the individual?s remaining vision to better their ADL.

Low Vision Optometrists specialize in assessing, managing and maximizing a patient?s useable vision. This can be done by in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, performing trial frame refraction, prescribing low vision devices and conducting visual field tests. Contrast sensitivity, glare, and color vision may also be assessed to meet patient?s visual needs.

A variety of low vision devices are available to help patients better improve their activities of daily living. They include close-circuit televisions, magnifiers, and telescopes.

Low Vision patients may be eligible for services and assistance through different state and local programs. Since low vision devices are typically not covered by medical insurances, low vision clinics often partner with these agencies to request them. These agencies can provide services ranging from living skills training, white cane training, counseling, assistive technology evaluation, and providing devices and adaptive aids. Specific agencies may have different patient criteria based on age and/or income.

Some of the more prominent agencies:
1) San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind caters to senior citizens age 50 and older in San Antonio.
2) The Texas Workforce Solution (TWS) provides services to Texans of all ages. The TWS has different programs that cater to different patients. The Vocational Rehabilitation Program provides assistance to patients for their current employment. A counselor assigned to the patient will provide technology evaluation for vocational rehabilitation training, counseling, orientation & mobility training, transportation, transportation, and employment assistance.
3) The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a Visual Impairment Services Team (VA-VIST) Program which serves vested veterans. If a visually impaired veteran is 20% service connected or legally blind, they are eligible for low vision devices through VA-VIST Program. This program provides counseling, assistance in activities of daily living, educational outreach, device training and orientation & mobility training for retired veterans.
4) San Antonio Resource Center provides resources on low vision services available, public transportation, and adaptive aids such as software and apps. They host monthly meetings to discuss about the latest research on ocular disease and technology in low vision.
5) Sight Savers America ?I Can See Now? is a non-profit organization that provides free electronic video magnifiers to visually impaired children under age 19 for home use. Their goal is to provide assistive technology to children at home so they are able to develop to the best of their ability.

Legal blindness is when the best corrected visual acuity in the better seeing-eye is less than 20/200 or the diameter of the visual field is constricted to 20 degrees of less in both eyes. When a patient is considered legally blind, they are eligible for services and assistance through different state programs. For example, in the state of Texas, said patient may be eligible for tax exemption, tuition exemption, disability license plate and placard application, and free fishing license.

8/2015 - Present Nancy Smith Hurd Endowed Chair of Low Vision Research University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Ophthalmology, San Antonio, TX
10/2014 - Present Director of Lions Low Vision Center of Texas and Optometrist University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Ophthalmology, San Antonio, TX