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Getting sight loss smart

Organisations in the South West receive training to help them support people with sight loss

Delegates at a Macular Society training day

Staff and volunteers at a number of sight loss organisations in Devon and Cornwall have received specialist training on how to teach people with sight loss how to use their remaining vision effectively.

The training was provided through a two-day course in partnership with the Macular Society and low vision specialist Optima. The training took place in Plymouth and was attended by staff and volunteers from Improving Lives Plymouth, Devon in Sight, See Hear and iSightCornwall.

The Skills for Seeing course was designed to equip delegates with the skills required to teach people with macular conditions techniques to help them make the most of the vision they still have.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK, currently affecting more than 600,000 people.

Over the two days, delegates were trained in how to teach eccentric viewing, which involves identifying and using the healthiest parts of a person’s vision. The course also covered the steady eye strategy, which involves learning a new way to read text.

Having attended the training, Caroline Page, sensory solutions manager for Improving Lives Plymouth, said: “There is considerable interest in Skills for Seeing training amongst those of our service users who have AMD. Our increased trainer capacity means that we can now better support existing and new clients by offering them training that can help them stay independent and better manage daily living.”