Of the 30,000 who suffer a stroke each year, one third becomes visually impaired as a result of this and the visual impairment causes many problems. The SMS-Projekt (Stroke Means Sight problems) aims to help target people with reduced vision after a stroke by making visual rehabilitation an integrated part of the stroke patient’s rehabilitation process. The project is unique and works with the ambition to eventually help affected people throughout Sweden.
The project is a three-year collaboration between the Stroke Association Kalmar, Kalmar Vision Centre and Stroke Clinic Kalmar and funded with support from the Swedish Inheritance Fund. The financial resources helps the group stroke patients with visual impairments to use their reduced vision in the best possible way.
The units that are now collaborating were previously working in parallel with each other but the fact that a collaboration now begins is the first of its kind. The project team in Kalmar believes that low vision rehabilitation will be helpful for many and until now it has been difficult as an affected person to get help with eyesight problems.
Low vision rehabilitation consists of (among other things) eye training and low vision therapist Krister Inde has helped design the project.
The target group consists of active people aged between 20 and 80 years, but it is not the age that is important but rather that people are motivated and have a stable situation after stroke or brain injury. It must have occurred between three and eighteen months ago. Primarily the project is for people from Kalmar, but if there are people who can have good use of our project and are able to provide valuable experience and knowledge back to us, then we will consider it. Obviously, we strive to have a gender balance in the group.
Two videos about how research managers in the Netherlands and Linköping look at driving tests. Bart Melis Dankers at The Automobily Project is a role model for us at The SMS Project in Kalmar. Björn Peters describes the view on the structure of The Computerized Driving Simulator that is now moved from Gothenburg to Linköping.
The video below ”Loss of vision in midlife” is a movie that describes the project.
This group meets a few times a year and consists of the following persons (together with the project group)
The Stroke Association
The Stroke Association
Department of Ophthalmology
Madeleine de Jong
The Stroke Clinic
In addition to the main organizations we collaborate with:
Department of Ophthalmology in Tubingen
VISIO in the Netherlands
The Norwegian Blind Association´s courses in Hurdal
Karolinska Hospital Stroke rehab group
Polar Print, Multilens
Communication Center Main Region, Köpenhamn
Chadwick Opticals, USA
Scheppens Eye Research Center, Boston
SYAB Driving education Kalmar
The Swedish Road and Traffic Research Institute
The Swedish Transport Agency