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Association News
7 November 2015
Issue 169
The Down’s Syndrome Association's 'Vision Month'
Up to 50 per cent of people with Down’s syndrome need to wear glasses, but a 100 per cent of the population of people with Down’s syndrome have poor visual acuity.

People with Down’s syndrome are more likely to have problems with their eyesight. Even if they wear glasses their visual acuity will be impaired.

Throughout November, the Down’s Syndrome Association’s 'Vision Month' will be highlighting issues surrounding vision for people with Down’s syndrome. There will be resources for people with Down’s syndrome, their families and carers, as well as the professionals who work with them. Vision Month will explore common conditions, as well as things to think about when conducting an eye examination or fitting glasses for a child or adult with Down’s syndrome.

With contributions from Dr Margaret Woodhouse of the Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit at Cardiff University and optometrist Simon Berry, DSA's free information and resources will help give people with Down’s syndrome the support and service they need.

Keep up to date with DSA's resources, articles and blogs throughout November by visiting the DSA website; following on Twitter (@DSAInfo) or going to their Facebook page to find out more.

Click here to read about ABDO's Alica Thompson's research on 'Paediatric Facial Analysis For Spectacle Wear', which is featured on the DSA website
Video releases for Wobbly Wednesday 2015 Read More
New report to capture 'Vision of Britain'

Optegra Eye Health Care, is currently developing a comprehensive report to be entitled 'Vision of Britain' which will offer an insight to the state of the nation’s eye health. With over 100 consultants across seven hospitals all dedicated purely to eye health, Optegra is well placed to commission and analyse new and extensive research with the British general public as well as with general practitioners and optometrists throughout the UK.

With input from its specialist ophthalmic surgeons, Eye Sciences research division and third party supporters from the healthcare industry, the Vision of Britain research has answered some important questions:

  • Why are eyesight problems on the increase? A shocking 90 per cent of optometrists say they see more eye health problems now compared to five years ago
  • How do different age groups and UK regions care for and think about their eyesight?
  • What role do GPs, optometrists and opticians play in educating patients and treating eyesight?
  • How does the well-documented demand on GPs impact on ophthalmology? Two in five (40 per cent) GPs say they need more, or refresher, training on all eye conditions
  • How do British attitudes to life - age, technology and expectations – impact on our vital senses?

This report also unveils some specific concerns, particularly amongst the medical community, regarding eyesight in the working environment. From treatment paths and knowledge around particular conditions, to day-to-day care of our eyes plus the impact of modern lifestyle, this report exposes the truth about British vision. The answers to these questions and exploration of these issues are thought provoking and insightful. 

There will be two versions of the report; one for Optegra’s professional partners and trade press and one for the general public and consumer media. For your copy of Vision of Britain, available from 4 January 2016, email

Can you protect your lifestyle? – PG Mutual Tailored Income Protection

PG Mutual’s tailored Income Protection cover can provide you with a regular income if you find yourself on sick leave, as well as building up an investment element for you at the maturity of the policy.

ABDO members are entitled to a 20% discount on their premiums for each of their first two years’ cover and will also be entered into a prize draw to win £750 of holiday vouchers*.

View more information or call 0800 146 307 and quote ‘ABDO’.

*For terms and conditions visit Prize Draw ends 31.12.15 and excludes Northern Ireland.
Consultation Day with the Areas

The next Consultation Day with the ABDO Areas will be held on Wednesday 18 November 2015 at the AOP Offices, 2 Woodbridge Street, London EC1R 0DG. All ABDO members are invited and welcome to attend.

Registration and coffee will be from 10.00am – 10.30am and the Consultation Day will finish at 3.30pm.

To confirm your attendance email Jane Burnand at

To view the agenda click here.

Two Lecturer Posts

ABDO College is offering a fantastic opportunity for two highly motivated individuals to join their team of dedicated teaching staff at Godmersham, Kent.

ABDO College offer a range of courses through Access, Diploma, Degree, Advanced and Honours, providing quality programmes leading to ABDO examinations.

ABDO College specialises in the provision of blended and distance learning education for the optical profession. Devotion and care are coupled with extensive professional knowledge to equip students with the understanding and skills for their chosen progression. ABDO College has an impressive reputation for high standards and exemplary pass rates.

The two available posts are as follows:

  1. A full time teaching post to assist with teaching in all areas of the ophthalmic dispensing programme. The applicant must have excellent IT skills and a knowledge of learning platforms, as part of this role will be to transfer and maintain all teaching materials onto a suitable platform.
  2. A 0.50FT post (2.5 days per week) to assist with the teaching of all theory subjects.

The people ABDO College are looking for will:

  • be qualified and registered dispensing opticians or optometrists and hold a degree in the field
  • have the ability to teach a wide range of theory and practical subjects
  • have excellent interpersonal skills
  • have the ability to work within a group and be self-motivated
  • be required to relocate if not living locally

A teaching qualification and/or specialist qualification in contact lenses would be an advantage, but not essential.

Applicants should send a CV and covering letter detailing their suitability for the role, with details of two referees to:

Jo Underwood, College Principal
ABDO College
Godmersham Park
Kent CT4 7DT

For any additional information or to discuss the post, telephone Jo on 01227 733 906 or email

Closing date: Thursday 12th November 2015
AOP re-launches its communications channels

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has today launched a new website and identity to deliver greater value to members and subscribers of the AOP’s journal, Optometry Today (OT).

In addition to the new website, OT has also changed its look and moved onto a monthly frequency. The new print journal features five CET-accredited articles, plus AOP updates, sector news, opinion and career support. With the launch of the new website and monthly edition of OT, CET exams will now be available exclusively to AOP members and subscribers of OT.

Henrietta Alderman, AOP chief executive, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of our fantastic new website and new look OT, with a new, modern brand identity across the organisation. After conducting extensive research and listening to our members, we are confident that the new website delivers even greater value to our members and subscribers. These changes mark an exciting time in the Association’s history – working with and for our members to protect, represent and support them at every stage of their career.”

Visit to find out more about the changes.

Final reminder for graduands wishing to attend the ABDO graduation ceremony

All eligible graduands wishing to attend the 2015 ABDO graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday 25 November must book their gown hire, photography requirements and tickets online, via the Ede & Ravenscroft website, before Monday 16 November 2015.

Click here to view the 2015 graduation ceremony handbook
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