The Australian College of Optometry anticipates its new Low Vision Clinic in Melbourne will expand from a one-day a week operation, to full time by the end of 2014.
The clinic – in the inner city suburb of Carlton – will provide a full service facility for low vision patients, including diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions with optometry and occupational therapy professionals on site.
The clinic opened last month, but the first education session for optometrists and staff focusing solely on low vision was held in September.
Speakers from Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Victoria discussed multidisciplinary services and updates on the latest adaptive technology. This was followed by clinical tips on low vision practice and paediatric low vision, presented by Mr. Graham Sheil, Dr. Sharon Bentley, and Dr. Elaine Wong.
Patients attending the clinic will be assessed by both an ACO optometrist and by an occupational therapist from Vision Australia. Referrals to other Vision Australia services will be arranged on the same day of the appointment.
The clinic will also provide spectacles and magnifiers at subsidised rates for patients with a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card.
“Vision Australia is pleased to be working in partnership with the Australian College of Optometry to provide this enhanced level of service to Australians who are experiencing vision loss,” said Chris Edwards, National Manager Program Development, Vision Australia.
“Patients will benefit from optometric advice from the Australian College of Optometry as well as advice and support from Vision Australia to help them develop the skills to remain independent despite vision loss,” he added.