Orthoptic Low Vision Services Get to know our orthoptists

We’re proud to announce the arrival of two new orthoptists at Guide Dogs Victoria. An orthoptist is a university-trained allied health professional who can offer a unique and versatile set of skills to assist people with low vision, and their friends and families.

Orthoptists work in a variety of settings and can offer support for people of all ages. Our two specialists, Kate and Khoa, are now on hand to assist you in identifying and achieving your daily goals.

Orthoptic Low Vision Services What does an orthoptist do?

Traditionally, orthoptists have been involved in the assessment and management of issues that affect a person’s eye movement. In the past, orthoptists commonly worked with people experiencing strabismus (where the eyes may not look in exactly the same direction at the same time), double vision, and amblyopia (sometimes referred to as ‘lazy eye’).

Today, orthoptists have an expanded scope of practice including research, ophthalmic care, and more. Our orthoptists can offer education, assessment and consultation to ensure your lifestyle and environment are optimised to your vision level or abilities.

Orthoptic Low Vision Services What can an orthoptist do for me?

Orthoptists can provide all kinds of insights and guidance to support you. Depending on your individual needs, an orthoptist can:

  • Provide education for you, your family, and friends: with general insights and information about eye conditions, treatment options, and techniques to maximise your remaining functional vision.
  • Conduct functional vision assessments: for people of all ages, including children who are pre-verbal, to establish a better understanding of a person’s level of functional vision and deliver more appropriate care. Vision assessments can include visual acuities, visual fields, contrast sensitivity, colour vision, binocular vision, and ocular movements.
  • Make various recommendations based on assessments: to support your other allied health practitioners in their delivery of services or care.
  • Advise you on appropriate visual aids: including optical and electronic magnification to assist with reading, writing, or working on computer screens.
  • Guide you on focal and overhead lighting or glare-related issues: particularly in relation to lighting at your home, school, or work.
  • Provide training to improve your functional vision: including techniques such as ‘eccentric viewing training’, which can be useful in minimising the effects of blind spots or blurred vision.
Woman at train station with guide dog

Orthoptic Low Vision Services Who can receive support from an orthoptist?

Our orthoptist services are available to people of all ages, with different levels of vision loss. This includes:

  • People with recent vision loss
  • People with long-standing vision loss
  • Children and young adults with vision loss who are working towards age appropriate development
Rory and Gideon

Orthoptic Low Vision Services When should I consider contacting an orthoptist?

You can get in touch with our orthoptists at any point. They will assist you to identify and work towards your personal goals. However, the following prompts may provide you with some insights into how—and when—an orthoptist’s support may be useful.

  • If you are looking for more detailed information around a specific vision condition: orthoptists can provide greater insight into your specific condition, associated treatments, potential benefits or services you can access, details around driving or other daily tasks, and more.
  • If you are having trouble reading text: including personal mail or bills, newspapers, magazines, price tags or labels, or computer screens.
  • If you are having trouble writing: including letters, notes, shopping lists, completing crosswords or puzzles, forms, cheques, or signatures.
  • If you are having trouble reading or processing information from distance: including signs, traffic signals, train or plane information boards, bus or tram numbers, or PowerPoint presentations at work or school.
  • If you have a heightened sensitivity to glare: whether inside or outdoors.
  • If you are having difficulty adapting to changes in lighting: including difficulty seeing at night, in the dark, or in different environments at home, work, or school.
  • If you are experiencing challenges in social or recreational situations: including difficulties recognising faces, watching TV or films, participating in sport, craftwork, theatre, or attending galleries.

Orthoptic Low Vision Services Referrals

We welcome referrals and enquiries from individuals, families, health professionals, and community organisations.
For further information:

Guide Dogs Victoria
Private Bag 13
Chandler Highway
Kew, Victoria, 3101

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