Dr Walter Wittich is an Assistant Professor at the School of Optometry at the University of Montreal, Canada, with a Junior Career Award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (chercheur boursier junior 1), with focus on the rehabilitation of older adults with combined vision and hearing loss. He is resident researcher at both the CRIR/Centre de réadaptation MAB-Mackay du CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and the CRIR/Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille du CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre. Coming from a background in age-related vision loss, he now conducts research in dual sensory impairment and acquired deaf-blindness. His research domains include basic sensory science, as well as medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitation approaches to sensory loss.
Internationally, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and he is the inaugural chair of the Deafblind International Research Network, leading a team of over 100 members from four continents in their efforts to facilitate networking and knowledge translation in deafblindness research. Recently, he received the Envision Low Vision Research Award in the US for his seminal contribution to the field of low vision rehabilitation research, and he serves as chair or member of scientific committees in various national and international conferences including ARVO, Deafblind International, the International Society for Low Vision Rehabilitation Research, and Envision Conference.
He has published 87 peer-reviewed journal article, book chapters and proceedings papers, primarily on the topics of visual impairment, low vision, and dual sensory impairment, and bringing much needed visibility to this domain. His research is funded by provincial, national and international sources, including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Alzheimer Society, the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration on Aging, as well as industry collaborators in the field of assistive technology.