As we know, there are many paths for eye health professionals in academia, the corporate world, and practice. Perhaps one of the most challenging is caring for the eye health of people with disabilities, mental and/or physical.
Recently, I was staggered to discover that around 18% of Australia’s population are described as living with disabilities that present challenges for learning, working, living independently and maintaining health. That’s a massive number of people who rely on some level of assistance to achieve their life goals.
Those who are experienced in caring for people with a disability readily acknowledge that doing so can be confronting, especially in the beginning. However, like everything, they say with practice it becomes more easily managed and is incredibly rewarding. I was delighted to talk with two optometrists from the Australian College of Optometry – Dr Josephine Li and Mae Chong – about their work with patients with disabilities in practice and in the community. I hope you enjoy reading about their experiences in our lead story this issue.
Additionally this issue, we are fortunate to have a unique CPD article written by optometrist Esther Euripidou, about managing the eye health of people with dementia. Given the number of people living with disability, and the increasing prevalence of dementia in the community, the advice and experience shared by Josephine, Mae and Esther will be invaluable to everyday practice as well as to those with an interest in developing this aspect of their practise.
Optometry Australia (OA) presented Optometry Virtually Connected in late June. This month we bring you some highlights from the online conference that attracted 2,200 people from around the world. Aside from the clinical and practice building content, which of course was excellent, one stand out for me was the collegiality within the profession.
This was demonstrated with the production of a musical collaboration, written by musician/optometrist/OA National Professional Services Advisor Sophie Koh and producer Robin Waters, with words, instrumentation, singing and dancing by OA members. Watching it gave me goose-bumps.
If you haven’t already seen and heard it, visit.