The National Executive Board of the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists (ACBO) has met to finalise its future policies and priorities in many areas of activity. The meeting followed the appointment of Stephen Leslie as Executive Director of the Association and Evan Brown as President. Veronica Kypros stepped down from her role as ACBO Executive Director in July, after more than 10 years’ service.
“In the same way that Optometry Australia has developed the 2040 Futures program, the ACBO Board periodically convenes to review the rapidly growing community demand for behavioural optometric services, and to plan future initiatives in optometrist and vision therapist education, member services delivery, and relationships with other eye care providers and the community,” explained Mr Leslie.
ACBO will continue to provide evidence-based information to members for communication with patients and other health care providers
INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION PROVIDER
ACBO is one of the largest Australasian providers of online and in-person education for optometrists and vision therapists delivering behavioural optometric care. The ACBO combined webinars and workshops program, Practical Vision Therapy (PVT), has educated more than 250 optometrists and therapists in Australia and New Zealand, as well as more than 120 practitioners over three years in Canada. ACBO recently launched PVT in the Philippines and India.
Mr Leslie said the Board meeting provided the opportunity to plan for improved delivery of PVT and other ACBO educational programs, including the ACBO Fellowship process, an expanded regular webinar schedule, regular weekend conferences, and intensive three to four day behavioural optometry programs delivered by local and US optometrists.
EVIDENCE BASED RESEARCH
Mr Leslie said the ACBO Board had completed plans to continue to develop and disseminate current evidence and best practice in the areas encompassed by the scope of service of behavioural optometry, including accommodative-convergence dysfunction, eye movement development, amblyopia and strabismus, myopia management, infant and toddler development, visual spatial and visual motor development, learning-related visual issues, and neuro-rehabilitative optometric care.
“ACBO will continue to provide evidencebased information to members for communication with patients and other health care providers, to add to the resources already available on pattern glare and tinted lenses, specialised patching options, and guidelines for parents of children using screen-based equipment such as iPhones and iPads,” said Mr Leslie.
Mr Leslie noted that the ACBO shop is rapidly expanding its range of textbooks, test materials and vision therapy equipment available to members, and recently became a distributor for Bernell and Eyecarrot (USA) products.
“As the demand for behavioural optometric care continues to grow, ACBO has plans to further develop community awareness of learning-related vision problems. It is also important to ensure that people seeking behavioural optometric care are aware of practitioners who are competent and experienced in paediatric, binocular vision and vision therapy care,” he said.
“The ACBO Board will soon deliver resources to members so they can provide information to patients and their families to ensure patient informed consent occurs for assessment and treatment, consistent with current guidelines.
“We will also work to ensure that members are compliant with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) regulations regarding advertising of optometric care. Membership qualifications, standards of practice and professional competencies will also be addressed in the near future.”
“The ACBO Board believes the use of the Medicare Item 10905 is much lower than it should be for the best possible care of many people who have significant and complex vision problems affecting their activities of daily living, such as education and working, and enjoying an optimal quality of life,” said Mr Leslie.
“Optometrists who provide behavioural optometric care are also members of Optometry Australia. They are qualified and AHPRA-registered in the same way as other practitioners who have chosen to gain further education and experience to expand their skills and competence in all the areas encompassed by the scope of service of behavioural optometry. As such, ACBO will continue to expand communication with Optometry Australia and other stakeholders in Australian and New Zealand eye care,” he concluded.
For further information about ABCO, email, [email protected].