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has a special clinic for the aging. In addition, Don Pitts, an optometrist at the Houston school, has surveyed lighting and studied the visual demands of working with video display terminals at several local com- puter and software companies. He and a university colleague teach a year-Ion" course in environmental optometry, informing students about the different lighting requirements and visual demands of the ounce, school, factory, and motor vehicle. Design factors to enhance job e~- ciency and safety are discussed. According to Pitts, even small lighting deficiencies, glare, or a low-contrast work environment can be a major problem for a worker whose sight is already limited. Conelusion The aging of the human eye involves a series of changes in visual performance that can be readily detected in the healthy adult. Reduced visual functioning need not have any effect on job performance, but for some individuals it will. It is obviously in the employer's interest to be responsive to the visual needs of older workers indeed, of all workers. A firm may save considerable time and money in building and sustaining a productive work force through health care and employment policies in which vision care has been given a prominent role. Evidence suggests that much has already been done by some firms to meet the vision needs oftheir workers, but much more work lies ahead. In order to make it possible for all workers to maintain their productivity in the face of changes in vision that typically occur with age, it will be necessary for scientists, manufacturers, and employers to pursue some common goals. Scientists will need to give more emphasis to research that promotes suitable vision-screening procedures for older workers, for example, and to research that leads to a better understanding of the normal changes that occur in vision over the course of a person's life. Manufacturers of devices used by older workers at the job site should develop new technologies or improve existing ones to meet the vision needs of older workers. Portable work units might permit older workers to adjust lighting to more comfortable levels, for example, and keyboards and panels should offer greater contrast between symbols and their backgrounds than they currently do—a change that might well benefit all workers. Once advances such as these have been made, employers might have at their disposal the components of a vision-based employment program that would be sensitive to the vision needs of aging workers and suited to the unique tasks performed by all workers. 41
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