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about us

Welcome to Independence AT, where we are dedicated to providing the highest quality assistive technology products and personalized services to individuals who are blind, visually impaired, and experiencing hearing loss across Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Hawaii. With a strong focus on customer service and expertise, our commitment to excellence is reflected in every aspect of our work.

Our valued customers are at the heart of everything we do. We deeply appreciate the trust and support of our visually impaired and hearing impaired communities over the years. It is through your feedback and loyalty that we continuously strive to exceed expectations and deliver exceptional solutions.

At Independence AT, we offer a comprehensive range of high-quality products from leading brands such as Vispero (Optelec, Freedom Scientific, Enhanced Vision), Orcam, Maggie, Magnifying America, LVI, Irie-AT, Humanware, Trysight, Nueyes, and more. Our diverse selection ensures that individuals facing challenges due to low vision or hearing loss can find the perfect solution to regain their independence. Whether you are dealing with conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, or hearing impairments, our assistive technology aids have empowered thousands of individuals to see and hear the world with clarity and confidence.

As part of our commitment to serving our community, we are honored to extend our support to those who have served in the military. If you or a loved one requires low vision or hearing loss services, we are here to assist you in making the connection you need.

 

We are dedicated to meeting the unique needs of visually impaired, blind, and hearing impaired individuals in our community. That's why we offer free, no-obligation demonstrations of our low vision and hearing loss products for your convenience. Let us be your partner on the journey to enhanced vision, hearing, and independence. Reach out to us today and discover how we can help you.

Our Team

Elizabeth Evans Headshot

Elizabeth Evans

Founder/CEO

ABOC/NCLE

Technology Consultant/Licensed Optician

Dr. Ingrid McBridge Headshot

Dr. Ingrid McBride

Au.D., CCC-A

Clinical Audiologist 

Elizabeth Evans Headshot
Yvonne Schuster Headshot

Yvonne Schuster

ABOC/NCLE

Technology Consultant

Breanna Poe Headshot

Breanna Poe

Technology Consultant

Our Mission

At Independence AT, our mission is to empower individuals with disabilities to lead independent and fulfilling lives through the provision of innovative assistive technology solutions and personalized support. We are committed to enhancing accessibility, promoting inclusion, and fostering autonomy for individuals with a diverse range of needs, including those with low vision, blindness, and hearing impairments. With a focus on excellence and empathy, we strive to be a trusted partner in our community, providing comprehensive resources and guidance to help individuals achieve their fullest potential.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is low vision?
    Low vision is a condition caused by eye disease, in which visual acuity is 20/70 or poorer in the better-seeing eye and cannot be corrected or improved with regular eyeglasses. (Scheiman, Scheiman, and Whittaker) Low vision is uncorrectable vision loss that interferes with daily activities. It is better defined in terms of function, rather than [numerical] test results. (Massof and Lidoff) In other words, low vision is "not enough vision to do whatever it is you need to do," which can vary from person to person. Most eye care professionals prefer to use the term "low vision" to describe permanently reduced vision that cannot be corrected with regular glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery.
  • What can cause low vision?
    Eye diseases or conditions can cause visual impairment. Some of the more common causes of low vision include: Macular Degeneration. Macular degeneration is a disorder that affects the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye where images are focused. The macula-the area on the retina responsible for sharp central vision-deteriorates, causing blurred vision. This can cause difficulty reading and, for some, a blurry or blind spot in the central area of vision. The most common form of age-related macular degeneration is known as non-exudative, or the "dry" form, in which vision loss usually progresses slowly. More rapid and severe vision loss comes from exudative, or the "wet" form, of macular degeneration. In the wet form, abnormal blood vessels develop under the macula and leak fluid and blood. Both exudative and non-exudative forms of macular degeneration are age-related. They are the leading cause of blindness in people over 50. Recent studies estimate that over 1.6 million older Americans have age-related macular degeneration. The exact cause is unknown. Although age is the primary contributing factor, cigarette smoking and nutrition can also play a role in the development of age-related macular degeneration. A hereditary juvenile form of macular generation called Stargardt Macular Dystrophy can also cause vision loss. Cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of part or all the lens inside the eye. This clouding interferes with light reaching the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in general loss of vision. Causes include aging, long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation, injury, disease and inherited disorders. If the eye is healthy, a cataract can be surgically removed. Usually, an intraocular lens implant is inserted in the eye, and vision is restored. Cataract surgery has a high success rate in otherwise healthy eyes. However, cataract surgery is not always possible for people who also have other eye diseases. These people may require low-vision rehabilitation to maximize their remaining vision. Glaucoma. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve. Most commonly, this occurs due to increasing internal pressure in the eye because of problems with the flow or drainage of fluid within the eye. It can also occur when the internal pressure of the eye does not increase (normal-tension glaucoma), but there is not enough blood flow to the optic nerve. There are no early symptoms in the most common form of glaucoma, but the first signs of damage are defects in side (peripheral) vision and difficulty with night vision. If diagnosed early, it can be treated with drugs, or sometimes surgery can minimize vision loss. Diabetic Retinopathy. People with diabetes can experience day-to-day changes in their vision and/or visual functioning because of the disease. Diabetes can cause blood vessels that nourish the retina to develop tiny, abnormal branches that leak. This can interfere with vision and, over time, may severely damage the retina. Laser procedures and surgical treatments can reduce its progression but regulating blood sugar is the most important step in treating diabetic retinopathy. Retinitis Pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa gradually destroys night vision, severely reduces side vision and may result in total vision impairment. An inherited disease, its first symptom-night blindness-usually occurs in childhood or adolescence. Amblyopia. In amblyopia, the visual system fails to develop normally during childhood. The blurry vision that results in one or both eyes is not easily corrected with normal glasses or contact lenses alone. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP). Retinopathy of prematurity occurs in infants born prematurely. It is caused by the high oxygen levels in incubators during the critical neonatal period. Retinal Detachment. With a retinal detachment, the retina separates from its underlying layer. It can cause total vision impairment in the affected eye. Causes include holes in the retina, eye trauma, infection, blood vessel disturbance or a tumor. If diagnosed early, most detached retinas can be surgically reattached with vision partially or completely restored. Acquired (Traumatic) Brain Injury. Vision can also be lost or damaged as a result of head injuries, brain damage and stroke. Signs and symptoms can include reduced visual acuity or visual field, contrast sensitivity, blurred vision, eye misalignment, poor judgment of depth, glare sensitivity, confusion when performing visual tasks, difficulty reading, double vision, headaches, dizziness, abnormal body posture and balance problems. AOA https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/low-vision/what-causes-low-vision
  • Is there a low vision cure?
    Low vision is not a normal symptom of aging. If you have noticed changes in your vision, see your eye doctor right away. Regular medical eye exams by an ophthalmologist are important to diagnose eye diseases early. It is important to treat any conditions that are treatable. Your eye doctor will do a complete eye exam to diagnose what is affecting your vision. For children, there will also be questions about the child’s birth, medical history and any past vision problems. The exam usually begins with questions about your medical history and any vision problems you might be experiencing. You will have tests designed to check your vision and check for eye diseases. Your doctor may use a variety of instruments and aim bright lights at your eyes. Your eyes also will be tested for visual acuity, or how well you see letters at a distance. If you are having trouble doing things other than just reading small print, your eye doctor may refer you for vision rehabilitation. You can ask your ophthalmologist to find vision rehabilitation programs and specialists for you in your area. If a family member or friend has vision loss, he or she needs to learn to do as much as possible independently and safely. Recognize the challenges of vision loss, but don’t take over their tasks. Instead, help identify the adjustments they need to make to maximize their independence in a safe manner. Written By: David Turbert and Dan Gudgel Feb. 25, 2019 https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/low-vision-diagnosis-treatment
  • Does insurance pay for low vision equipment?
    Medicare and private insurance companies typically will pay for a low vision exam by an eye doctor, but it does not reimburse for any low vision devices.
  • Does the VA pay for low vision equipment?
    If you are a Veteran, we can help assist you in getting a new device or machine through the VA if your vision qualifies. We work very closely with the VA and with the VA's Assistance and approval you can receive a new device or machine, most of the time free of charge to the Veteran.
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