OPT002: Low Vision 2 - Practical

This module aims to provide eye care practitioners with the practical training to provide a high standard of low vision care for people with visual impairment.

Start DateDurationCreditsPrerequisitesModule TutorsModule Code

September 2018

24 contact hours over one academic term

10 Credits

CET Points available


Marek Karas (Leader)

Rebecca John (Leader)

Barbara Ryan


Additional information: This module complements OPT006 and OPT007. It also forms part of the Low Vision Service Wales Accreditation when completed alongside OPT001.

This module, along with OPT001, is accredited by The College of Optometrists for the Professional Certificate in Low Vision.

Learning Objectives

To acquire knowledge and understanding at an advanced level about:

  • What people with low vision might want and need to do
  • The roles of other professionals and services that support people with low vision

To apply this knowledge to given scenarios and demonstrate how you would:

  • Adapt the normal optometric routine to a patient with visual impairment
  • Determine the comprehensive case history of a low vision patient and prioritise their needs
  • Measure visual function as part of a low vision assessment
  • Determine appropriate magnification and provide advice on contrast and lighting
  • Prescribe and dispense a high addition or hyperocular low vision aid
  • Adapt the refractive component of your assessment

To analyse a situation and suggest appropriate management of a patient with respect to:

  • Appropriate referral and reporting, and in particular when people require social services intervention
  • Management plans for a holistic support strategy

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught by means of practical training in the form of workshops. These are delivered over a two-day period. Supporting resources and references will be supplied via black board learn, the universities e-learning system.

In addition there will be a welcome webinar, and a webinar part way though the term discussing methods of establishing magnification. There will be formative learning sessions as detailed below. Discussions boards accessed via blackboard learn will provide a platform for students to discuss any questions or queries that come up throughout the term with both the course tutors and their peers.

Syllabus Content

The practical workshops, online discussions and written submission will cover the following areas:

  • History and symptoms.
  • Goal setting and prioritising need.
  • Visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and visual fields in low vision.
  • Estimating magnification.
  • Spectacle mounted high addition low vision aids.
  • Optical low vision aids and their use.
  • Non-optical low vision aids and adaptations.
  • Practical contrast enhancement in everyday life.
  • Referral to other agencies and professionals.

How the module will be assessed

Practical Assessment (50%): At the end of the two day workshop, students will be assessed carrying out a full low vision assessment on a volunteer low vision patient.

Online Coursework (30%): There are three case-based presentations as coursework:  students will work in small groups online to discuss a management plan for the patient scenarios given, and then submit their strategy.

Written Coursework (20%): In a short report (less than 2000 words) practitioners will be asked to describe the services provided for people with a visual impairment by the voluntary sector and social services in one local authority. They will also need to describe the referral and reporting mechanisms in place between these services and low vision services and provide a contact list with relevant numbers and addresses for local and national services for people with a visual impairment.

Workshop Schedule

Workshop 1 (1.5 hours): Practitioners interact with a role play of a 'practitioner' taking a history from a 'patient' in a low vision assessment. A video of a low vision assessment is then viewed and stopped at appropriate points in order to discuss the elements of an assessment.

Workshop 2 (2.5 hours): Four stations using simulation spectacles enable practitioners to practice using LogMAR charts, prescribing and trying distance low vision aids. As well as measuring contrast sensitivity and enhancing contrast.

Workshop 3 (1.5 hours): This workshop will enable practitioners to get first-hand experience of dispensing spectacle mounted low vision aids. They will get a chance to make up high plus lens magnifiers and hyperoculars for cases presented.

Workshop 4 (3 hours): Performing a low vision assessment on a volunteer patient and watching another low vision assessment under guidance of an experienced practitioner.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic Skills:

  • To be aware of recent research in visual impairment and accepted clinical practice in the discipline
  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning
  • The interpretation of data.

Subject-Specific Skills:

  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level
  • Develop empathy with people who have visual impairment
  • To develop practical skills to assess and manage people with visual impairment
  • Appropriate referral pathways.

Generic Skills:

  • Time management
  • Working independently
  • Develop IT skills, particularly with respect to online discussion forums
  • Improve problem solving skills
  • Communication skills.