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COTA Creates Low Vision Rehabilitation Program to Increase Safety and Independence

Denise “Denny” Moyer is a COTA who used her own experiences to develop an innovative low vision rehabilitation program in Colorado.

Denny Moyer

Denise “Denny” Moyer, COTA/L

Chief Executive Officer, Ensight Skills Center and Curtis Strong Center for Visual Rehabilitation

Location: Colorado

Certified in 1994

2022 NBCOT Innovation Award Winner

Lived Experience Creates Innovative Rehabilitation Program

Denise “Denny” Moyer, a COTA from Colorado, developed a comprehensive low vision rehabilitation program for people who are visually impaired. Denny has lived with vision loss since she was 19 years old. She learned that when there is something preventing you from completing a task, you have to adapt the way the task is done. She used her own experiences, education, and skills to develop Ensight Skills Center.

Ensight provides vision rehabilitation services to help clients with low vision utilize their remaining vision to complete their activities of daily living and to actively and safely age in place. The program integrates occupational therapy, optometry, and community resources to support each client to meet specific goals. Intervention plans incorporate tools and strategies using a multidisciplinary approach to support clients’ safety, quality of life, and mental health.

Two women hold a banner with the words Ensight Skills Center, Inc. A golden retriever stands in front of the woman on the left.
Denny, her guide dog Lance, and her colleague.

Services provided include low vision assessments, OT home visits, vocational training, orientation and mobility training, recommendations for optical and assistive devices, family education, and skills training. Through Ensight, clients can also participate in counseling and social groups, access mental health care, and find other community resources. Since it opened in 2001, Ensight has helped over 100,000 people throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, as well as several individuals from around the world. Ensight is the only fully comprehensive low vision rehabilitation program in Colorado, and there are currently eight locations in the state. Ensight has also been used as a model for programs at low vision centers across the U.S.

“Each day, Denny’s vision helps others to find solutions to the problems that vision loss creates. We are so proud of her and her innovative program that helps others to maintain a good quality of life.”

Melody Bettenhausen

COO at Ensight Skills Center and Curtis Strong Center

Providing Accessible Care

Ensight demonstrates an innovative approach to low vision care as evidenced by the robust suite of services and education offered. Each year, Ensight serves over 600 patients through direct services and completes over 500 home visits. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ensight provided mobile training kits that included tools clients could use in conjunction with telehealth visits. The training kits have been distributed to rural areas as well, where it is difficult to travel to an Ensight facility.

To further expand its services throughout Colorado, Ensight has launched an innovative “house call” program called Ensight Onsite. This program uses a mobile examination unit to provide low vision services to individuals with transportation challenges.

Six women sit around a table scattered with art supplies. Four of the women hold up paintings.
Denny with her painting class, an activity that is offered at Ensight.

An Unwavering Commitment

Denny has been practicing low vision rehabilitation for the past 23 years, and she is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and skills with others. She collaborates with other low vision professionals throughout the U.S. to develop education and standards for occupational therapists to learn about low vision in academic settings. She has arranged for Ensight to provide students with OT fieldwork opportunities to expand their knowledge base in treatment strategies for the visually impaired. She is currently assisting in developing a low vision outcomes measurement tool for OT and other professions. Denny is also a member of the Data and Research subcommittee of the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition. She has presented on low vision rehabilitation at national conferences, and she has served on the boards of the VisionServe Alliance and Foundation Fighting Blindness.

You can follow Ensight on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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