Low vision occupational therapists (OTs) are trained to understand how vision loss affects a person’s overall well-being. They promote creative ways to adapt and overcome challenges and obstacles to assist our clients in becoming as independent as possible in their everyday lives. This Occupational Therapy Month, we wanted to celebrate our wonderful occupational therapists.

Samantha Washington

Fun Fact: I have an extensive Prince collection with a Purple Record Room and décor to match.

Why low vision?  I have worked in many settings as an OT where many clients had underlying visual impairments. I wanted to learn specifically how to effectively address their needs.

Favorite part of working at CVI? I like meeting people where they are on their journey emotionally, mentally, physically and/or spiritually. Clients regain a sense of self, control, and purpose after being introduced to low-vision devices that improve their ability to maintain their favorite activities.

Mia VanSchalkwyk

Fun Fact: I have two Westie dogs.

Why low vision? I worked in higher education and missed client interactions. OT makes so much sense for those with vision loss. I enjoy seeing how much people can benefit from the services we offer.

Favorite part of working at CVI? I’ve met such a variety of people who I’ve learned so much from because of their bravery and optimism despite their daily challenges.

Nia Hunt

Fun Fact: I grew up playing rugby.

Why low vision? I decided to go into low vision

because this population is so under-served but so deserving, and I find joy in helping people do things they thought they would never be able to do again.

Favorite part of working at CVI? Our clients are so grateful, and they and I both leave each session or evaluation feeling accomplished. It has been gratifying to see them regain their independence session after session.

Chris Cavanaugh

Fun Fact: I grew up in a town called Sandwich on the coast of Massachusetts.

Why low vision? After working with many clients with impaired vision as a general OT, I decided to make low vision my primary area of work. I enjoy working with our clients and team at CVI to provide education and training to help people achieve as much independence as possible in their daily lives.

Favorite part of working at CVI? I love seeing clients feeling encouraged and hopeful when they leave CVI. I recently had a client who was thrilled to learn a modified way of sweeping her floor. I admired her enthusiasm and willingness to try new ways of completing tasks.

We are also proud to have Dr. Sarah Pullani and Phiffer Reed on our occupational therapy team. To learn more about the services our OTs provide, visit our website at https://cviga.org/services. Hope is here at CVI!