The Australasian College of Optical Dispensing (ACOD), in collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), has welcomed 70 UTS School of Orthoptics students to ACOD’s training rooms in North Sydney for a series of workshops on edging and fitting lenses.
Divided into three sessions over two days, the hands-on workshops, led by ACOD Directors James Gibbins and Chedy Kalach, and achieved with the support of Dr Vincent Nguyen, Orthoptics Lecturer at UTS, enabled students to edge and fit lenses to match their own Rx, or that of a family member or friend.
It’s a fantastic collaboration that’s been going on for seven years
Each provided with a focimeter, custom lenses and frames, Mr Gibbins walked students through the practical knowledge involved in creating glasses, and helped them to take frame measurements, calculate decentration, and complete mark-up and tracing.
Mr Kalach then guided students on how to use an edging machine, where they were able to edge their lenses before, if necessary, hand chamfering, and fitting them to their desired frame.
Describing optical dispensers as “the guardians of spectacle quality”, Mr Gibbins spoke to the cohort about the important role dispensers play in the optical landscape.
Indeed, many students were excited by the opportunity to see and experience how real specs are made, and to apply their newly leant skills to the creation of their own industry standard spectacles.
“It’s a fantastic collaboration that’s been going on for seven years,” said Mr Gibbins. “ACOD and UTS are great friends, particularly thanks to Vincent who, from day one, has been passionate and interested in the student journey and in dispensing. It showcases a wonderful collaboration of ophthalmic colleges and academics to the wider optical industry.
“We love doing it. We love the experience with the orthoptics students, and the relationship we’ve developed with UTS,” said Mr Gibbins.
This year is the largest scale event the faculties have undertaken, with each session drawing in near to 25 students. ACOD looks forward to welcoming the next UTS School of Orthoptics cohort in 2023.