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Association News
4 September 2015
Issue 164
ABDO commissioned survey reveals parents not focussed on children’s eyecare
Today, new research commissioned by the ABDO reveals that almost 6 in 10 parents in the UK are unaware that their children need to have an eye test at least every two years. ABDO is stressing the importance of ensuring children get their eyes tested at least every two years.

Many parents in the UK don’t recognise the importance of having their child’s eyes tested from a young age, with almost 6 in 10 (59 per cent) unaware that they need to take their child for an eye test at least every two years.

The survey of 2,000 parents found that a third (33 per cent) wrongly believe that children need to get their eyes tested for the first time when they start school. Alarmingly 12 per cent said children only need to get their eyes tested if their parents wear glasses.

It also highlights that over half of British parents don’t realise that squint and lazy eye can be detected during an eye test and almost three quarters (72 per cent) aren’t aware that spectacles can potentially help straighten a squint. It also found that 75 per cent of parents don’t consider making their child wear sunglasses when it’s sunny.
With 85 per cent of parents admitting to not knowing much about getting their child’s eyes tested, ABDO is stressing the importance of ensuring children get their eyes tested by a registered practitioner.

Jo Holmes, dispensing optician and ABDO board member, says, “It’s never too soon to get your child’s eyes tested. Children can have an eye test before they learn to read, and the sooner some eye problems are picked up, the easier it is to treat them.”

ABDO is advising parents that if child has never had an eye test, or if they have concerns or simply want to know more, to search for EyecareFAQ on Facebook or call into their local opticians.

Click here to view an infographic that provides an overview of the survey findings
Market leading foreign exchange

ABDO members are eligible to claim a free FAIRFX Prepaid Currency Card, normally worth £9.95. Load your card with Euros or US Dollars at highly competitive exchange rates and use it abroad like any other payment card. Avoid rip-off rates from banks, high street bureaux de changes and airports, and discover the smart way to spend abroad. Plus get £5 extra free when you order your first card.*

*Terms and conditions apply. See website for details. Offers and prices subject to change without notice. Subject to minimum load of £50, €60 or $75. New customers only. This ABDO membership benefit is managed on behalf of ABDO by Parliament Hill Ltd.

Click here to apply online
ABDO Conference and Exhibition
The 2015 ABDO Conference and Exhibition will be held on 20 & 21 September at Manchester Central. The comprehensive conference programme will cover all of the required CET competencies.
  • CET for DOs, CLOs and optometrists
  • Workshops and lectures
  • Safeguarding childten training for DOs - Monday 21 September
  • Student and supervisor zone
  • BCLA stream - Sunday 20 September
  • AOP stream - both days
Click here for more information and to register online
ABDO annual meetings

A reminder that the ABDO annual meetings will take place on at 4.45pm on Saturday 19 September at The Lancaster Suite, The Midland Hotel, Peter Street, Manchester M60 2DS.

ABDO members wishing to attend the meetings are kindly requested to inform Jane Burnand by email at as soon as possible.

2015/16 WCSM Courses prospectus

ABDO College now provides training courses leading to the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers (WCSM) qualifications. WCSM qualifications lay a solid foundation for the development of essential optical skills and open up a clearly defined career pathway.

The WCSM courses available from ABDO College range from Level 2 Optical Support to Level 4 for Optical Technicians.

To obtain a copy of the 2015/16 WCSM Courses Prospectus, please contact the Courses Team at ABDO College on 01227 738 829 (Option 1), or email

Click here to view the prospectus
Low Vision Honours Course

Due to changing demographics the demand for specialist low vision services is steadily increasing. By enhancing your low vision skills you can greatly help others, which is both valuable and extremely rewarding.

The ABDO College Low Vision Honours Course includes the theory and practical aspects of low vision consultation and fully prepares candidates for the ABDO Level 6 FBDO (Hons) LVA examinations.

Distance learning assignments are complemented by a short block release at ABDO College to reinforce practical skills and routine.

  • Course commences: January 2016
  • Method: Blended learning
  • Entry requirements: ABDO Level 6 Fellowship Diploma in Ophthalmic Dispensing (FBDO) and GOC registration
  • Duration: 25 weeks
  • Block release accommodation can be provided
  • Application deadline: December 2015

For further information and application forms please contact the ABDO College Courses Team on 01227 738 829 (Option 1) or email

Wobbly Wednesday walkaround

Supporters of Nystagmus Network (NN) are being encouraged to organise a Wobbly Wednesday walkaround on or around Wednesday 4 November to celebrate the charity’s annual awareness day. NN is leading the campaign to highlight the complex eye condition nystagmus, which affects around 1 in 1,000 people.

A Wobbly Wednesday walkaround works on the principle that ten people walking one mile can raise more awareness than one person walking ten miles. The idea which is new for this year’s Wobbly Wednesday, is easy to organise and needs no special equipment. All you need is a space big enough to walk around. NN is suggesting that Wobbly Wednesday walkarounds take place between Saturday 31st October and Friday 6th November to maximise awareness.

Richard Wilson, chairman, Nystagmus Network said: “I love the simplicity of this idea. Taking part in a Wobbly Wednesday walkaround is a great way to raise awareness of nystagmus and have some fun with a group of friends at school, work or at home with your family. How far people walk is not important it’s spreading the wobbly word that counts.”

To take part simply email to register your Wobbly Wednesday walkaround. There is a Facebook group especially for Wobbly Wednesday supporters, and a page on the NN website.

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