Vision ‘Specialists’ (who may be involved with your child)

Support relating to the medical and/or educational needs of a child may be provided by all or some of the following specialists … so what do they all do?

Ophthalmologist

  • Eye doctor involved with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye by medical, surgical and drugs
  • Every child with a vision impairment should see their own ophthalmologist regularly (at least once a year) to ensure optimal treatment, correction and monitoring of the condition
  • Can also prescribe glasses & contact lenses

Orthoptist

  • A vision specialist who is not a medical doctor
  • May work with opthalmologist in the detection, diagnosis and management of eye disease in children and adults
  • May recommend lighting, adaptive devices and/or low vision aids
  • May recommend environmental modifications

Optometrist

  • A vision specialist who is not a medical doctor
  • Can examine the eyes and related structures
  • Can prescribe glasses and contact lenses
  • Can prescribe basic glaucoma and eye infection medications if endorsed
  • Can prescribe low vision aids

Optical dispensor (Optician)

  • Specialise in dispensing and fabrication of vision aids and eye wear according to prescription

Ophthalmic nurse

  • Provide specialised nursing care for persons with eye disease and abnormalities, first aid for eye injuries and screening for visual conditions
  • Work in public hospitals and ophthalmic based practice

Orientation & Mobility Instructor

  • Specialist responsible for assessment and training of people with vision impairments in how to travel safely

Visiting Teacher for Vision Impaired

  • A specialist teacher who visits eligible children at school
  • Teaches the child specialised skills from the Expanded Core Curriculum
  • May advise teachers about teaching strategies and adapting curriculum
  • May coordinate resources required by the school and student

Integration Aide or Assistant

  • An assistant to the regular classroom teacher(s)
  • The role of the aide will vary depending on the child’s needs e.g. adapt learning materials, produce braille, etext etc

Integration or special needs teacher – names vary – student wellbeing coordinator, individual differences coordinator….

  • A teacher within the school who coordinates the integration program for any special needs children
  • Usually responsible for coordinating funding applications and may liaise between the various support people involved

For more information, please contact us.