International Guide to Aids and Appliances For Blind and Visually Impaired Persons, second edition, American Foundation For The Blind, Inc., 15 West 16th Street, New York, N.Y., 1977, 255 pages, price $3.00.
Blind and low vision patients are not sentimental about their loss; it is their friends and relatives who worry about "life in darkness." The visually handicapped are concerned with how to read, write, shave, comb their hair, get to work, cross a street, cook dinner, ad infinitum. This book is a compendium of technology available to help the patient meet these needs. There is no text, only listings of aids and appliances with brief descriptions where appropriate, with the address of distributor and the price when available.
The book is an invaluable aid to ophthalmologists, rehabilitation specialists, social workers, and others in low vision clinic and rehabilitation settings and is also directly useful for the patient and his family. It would be valuable for every ophthalmologist to browse through this book to develop an appreciation of what is available, even if he refers patients to a specialized agency. At a cost of $3.00 for 255 information-packed pages, it is certainly a rare bargain in ophthalmic publishing.
My one criticism of this book concerns the section on optical aids. The listing is not complete and contains devices whose titles could promote unrealistic and dangerous expectations such as "Field-Expander Driving Spectacles for Tunnel Vision" and "Telescopic Driving Spectacles (2x-6x) for Poor Acuity." Since these optical low vision aids should only be dispensed by prescription and are well' covered in existing literature, I see no reason to include this section in a book designed for a wide public.
However, this flaw should not diminish the value of the book to the resident or trained ophthalmologist, nor to the patient receiving appropriate support and guidance for his physician.