Lions Low Vision Education Project
[Supported by Lions Clubs International Foundation and the Multiple District 22 Lions Vision Research Foundation]
The Lions Clubs of Multiple District 22 (Maryland, Delaware, DC), the Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, The Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Jernigan Institute of the National Federation of the Blind are collaborating to develop a public education program that will be disseminated by Lions Club members that has the aim of changing society's opinions about blindness and visual impairment. The objective of the Lions Low Vision Education Project is the development and evaluation of a program for educating Lions clubs members on the functional capabilities and rehabilitation potential of people with low vision or blindness and then training and equipping a subset of these Lions to present that message to citizens, including health care professionals, in their communities. This arm of the project will be limited to the 8,000-plus Lions Clubs members in Multiple District 22. Assuming a successful outcome, we will then encourage Lions Clubs International to implement the program nationwide to the 460,000 Lions in over 14,000 Clubs through the existing Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP). The specific aims of the Lions Low Vision Education Program are:
Develop and conduct education programs on low vision and blindness rehabilitation for Lions and the public. Our strategy is to develop multimedia educational materials that the Lions of Multiple District 22 can use in their public education programs. Our strategy is to develop materials that can be presented at public meetings as well as in the news media and over the internet. The message will be that with appropriate rehabilitation and the use of assistive devices and adaptations, blind and visually impaired people can live full and independent lives. The goal of the education program is to destigmatize blindness, visual impairments, and rehabilitation tools, such as the white cane, by educating the pubic and health care professionals at the community level. During this period Multiple District 22 will develop and test the program with its 8,000-plus Lions Clubs members. The dissemination plan is to integrate the program with the Lions Clubs International Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP) and export it to the 460,000 Lions Clubs members nationwide.
Evaluate the effects of education programs on the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of Lions with respect to rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired people. To achieve the second aim, we will employ focus groups and qualitative research methods to develop and validate measures of the knowledge of Lions in Multiple District 22 about blindness and low vision, about rehabilitation programs for blind and visually impaired people, and about the role of health care in low vision rehabilitation programs for blind and visually impaired people. We will also develop and validate measures of attitudes and beliefs of Lions on the functional capabilities and rehabilitation potential of blind and visually impaired people. Finally, we will develop an assessment of Lions current activities on sight-related programs.