When Megan Briggs came to the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (MABVI) in the summer of 2015 as Director of Vision Rehabilitation, she brought with her a wealth of experience in the field. Briggs earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Worcester State University. Her work has specialized on individuals with disabilities, including vision loss and/or brain injury.
Briggs has experience working in acute inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, acute care hospitals, outpatient facilities, and nursing homes. Prior to coming to MABVI, she worked for the University of Massachusetts providing services for MassHealth contracts, including Prior Authorization, Community Case Management, and ABI/MFP waivers. Her experience in both direct service and administration made her an ideal fit for MABVI’s Director of Vision Rehabilitation role, which allows her to do both. Briggs oversees MABVI’s Occupational Therapists (OTs) in addition to providing OT services herself.
“As the Director of the program,” she says, “I enjoy ensuring compliance and quality, and this job allows me to have the freedom to make change and improve systems. As a treating OT, I like to see people increase or maintain their independence.
“Teaching someone adaptive skills to complete tasks they love is one of the most rewarding aspects of this job,” she adds.
As vision rehabilitation specialists, MABVI’s OTs travel to a person’s residence to perform functional vision and home safety assessments and teach adaptive techniques and strategies for activities of daily living so they can continue to live confidently and independently with vision loss.
When asked about some typical things an OT might do in their sessions, Briggs mentions a few examples, including:
- evaluating lighting and eliminating glare
- teaching adaptive reading and writing techniques
- utilizing high-contrast tape and other markings
- training with adaptive aids and magnification devices
- providing information about vision loss and community resources
- training in the use of accessibility features and apps for the blind and visually impaired on Apple devices such as iPads or iPhones
Briggs recommends vision rehabilitation services to “anyone who is experiencing vision loss that is affecting their activities of daily living and is looking for ways to adapt, change, or enhance their ability to maintain independence within desired tasks.”
Individuals seeking these services can either be referred by their eye doctor or other health care professional, or contact MABVI directly either by phone at (888) 613-2777 or by filling out an Online Service Referral form.
Beyond her professional life, Briggs enjoys volunteering and staying active.
“I enjoy fitness in any shape or form,” she says. “I am always trying to stay active, and as the weather permits I am an avid road cyclist.” While she doesn’t compete in races, Briggs is a member of a local cycling team and participates in a number of charity rides throughout the year. A Massachusetts native, she currently lives in Worcester with her husband and two dogs.