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Understanding Vision Loss

The fourth Australasian Orientation and Mobility Conference, hosted by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, will be held at Sydney University’s Women’s College from 24 to 26 November.

It will enable optometrists, orthoptists and ophthalmologists to share their knowledge of eye conditions and further understand the functional implications of vision impairment on a person’s mobility.

About 570,000 people in Australia are blind or have vision impairment severe enough to cause problems with daily living. This figure is expected to double in the next 20 years.

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there is great potential for eye health, orientation and mobility professionals to work together to benefit patients

Guide Dogs Orientation and Mobility Instructor Jenny Croaker says there is great potential for eye health, orientation and mobility professionals to work together to benefit patients whose mobility is affected by vision loss.

“Orientation and mobility is a little known or understood profession, yet demand for these skills is only going to grow,” says Ms Croaker.

“The majority of our work is providing free, tailored mobility programs that give people the confidence to safely and independently negotiate their environments, regardless of their level of vision impairment.

“By working more with optometrists, orthoptists and ophthalmologists, we can use their clinical diagnoses to develop better targeted functional outcomes for clients.”

Held every three years, the AMC2010 conference will be an interactive platform for sharing new ideas, knowledge, skills and resources among allied health professionals. The conference will also showcase innovative orientation and mobility techniques and tools.

Leading ophthalmologist Dr John Grigg, from the University of Sydney, will present the latest information on eye conditions, while University of NSW optometrist Sharon Oberstein will discuss visual fields and their significance in low vision and mobility.

Other conference highlights include the Hon. Dr. Barry Jones as the keynote speaker and a Great Debate that will further generate interaction among delegates.

Delegates will receive an attendance certificate that can be used to gain CPD points.

Registrations close 8 November. To register visit www.guidedogs.com.au or email amc2010@guidedogs.com.au. Conference updates can be followed on Facebook or Twitter @AMC2010Sydney.

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