RIDBC Celebrates World Orthoptic Day

World Orthoptic Day June 1, 2015World Orthoptic Day, June 1 2015

As part of World Orthoptic Day, June 1, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) is celebrating the role of orthoptists in improving life outcomes for people with vision loss.

World Orthoptic Day is an international day dedicated to heightening the awareness and understanding of the important role orthoptists play in helping people maximise their residual vision and in preparing for the future when their vision may change.

"RIDBC's specialised and highly skilled team of orthoptists play an integral role in ensuring the best possible outcomes for children and adults with vision loss through their specialised assessments and clinical expertise, client engagement and support.

"At RIDBC, orthoptists conduct specialised vision assessments for children and adults, providing advice on how to optimise visual function. Our orthoptists also work closely with families and professionals to help them understand the impact various vision conditions have on visual functioning.

"When working with families, RIDBC orthoptists use a range of approaches to support children with vision loss. They might use sound or texture to encourage young children to explore objects, or adjust the size of print and pictures to enhance a child's ability to see detail and to sustain comfortable viewing while learning.

"For older students, our orthoptists work in mainstream schools to ensure students are best supported in the classroom, such as being seated in the front row, or ensuring that appropriate lighting conditions are created."

Rosa Wright, one of six orthoptists at RIDBC, is a specialist in cortical visual impairment, a condition that can cause severe vision loss and blindness.

"I enjoy assessing how a child views the world through their eyes, and then relaying this information back to families," said Rosa. "Having an understanding about how their child can see empowers families to better utilise their child's remaining vision. It can be quite a humbling experience to be a part of."

To find out more about RIDBC's full range of programs and services for children and adults with vision or hearing loss, go to www.ridbc.org.au or call 1300 581 391.

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and cochlear implant services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC is a charity and relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of children and adults with vision or hearing loss.