A free training course which arms optical practitioners with knowledge to ensure people diagnosed with eye conditions receive the information and support they need is going on tour around the UK.

Seeing Beyond the Eyes, a two-hour accredited programme of Continuing Education and Training (CET) which we are supporting, increases awareness of the services and support, including Rehabilitation Officers and Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, that optometrists and dispensing opticians can refer visually impaired people to.

It also provides participants with a greater insight into visual impairment and the challenges faced, and empowers practitioners to support and communicate with patients effectively.

The programme, which delivers 6 interactive CET points, is run by Daniel Williams, Founder of Visualise Training and Consultancy, and dispensing optician Peter Black, a past President of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.

The Seeing Beyond the Eyes CET Roadshow is being launched with the first training courses at the Pocklington Hub in London on the 14th and 15th of May.

Peter Corbett, our Chief Executive, said: “We are excited to support this training for eye care professionals. Our aim is to bring together charity and health organisations involved in rehabilitation and community optical practitioners to improve collaboration and cross referral for the benefit of patients to help them lead more independent lives.”

Daniel said the course had been delivered to hundreds of optical professionals so far, and only about 10 per cent of delegates were aware of the role of Rehabilitation Officers and Eye Clinic Liaison Officers.

“This shows how important it is to educate professionals to know who they can refer people to and to encourage all professionals in the sector to work together,” Daniel said.

“We hope to replicate this in up to 70 locations across the UK and are grateful for the financial support of Thomas Pocklington Trust. Without their help it would not be possible.”

Peter Black said: “We have already seen increased referrals to blind associations and other organisations, ensuring patients receive the correct information and support immediately.”

The first training courses will be run at the Pocklington Hub, Tavistock House South, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9LG on the 14th and 15th of May.

They will be followed by a roadshow around the country with courses scheduled until the end of October.

Find your nearest course and register here.

For more information on Seeing Beyond the Eyes, including a full break down of what the course entails, visit the Visualise Training and Consultancy website.