Otago Polytechnic

20 August, 2018

Otago Polytechnic Occupational Therapy students are hosting two eye health events on Friday 24 August to help prepare for the Save Sight Symposium in early September.

Occupational Therapy students will be hold a practice class about vision screening, using a new Eyes Right Toolkit app, In G Block from 12-1pm. They will then head to Kaikorai Valley College where they will teach year-9 and year-10 students about protecting their eyes in relation to computer vision syndrome.

From 1pm-2pm, Occupational Therapy students will train Otago Polytechnic student ambassadors how to be sighted guides for the Save Sight Symposium, which offers professionals and laypeople alike an opportunity to learn more about eye health.

The one-day symposium, to be held at Otago Polytechnic on Saturday 8 September, is the result of a collaboration between Otago Polytechnic, Retina NZ and Visual Impairment Charitable Trust New Zealand. 

Key speakers include ophthalmologist Harry Bradshaw, who will discuss the three main causes of preventable vision loss, and Emma Sandford, a physician qualified in the medical treatment of eye disorders, who will discuss eye health and nutrition.

The messages in Emma’s keynote address will be reflected in a lunch, after which participants can attend a 90-minute workshop presented by Matt Rudland, of the Blind Foundation, who will tackle the challenges of making technology accessible for people with low vision.

Topics for other, shorter talks in the afternoon include computer vision syndrome, lighting for low vision, vision screening for teenagers, ebikes and mobility scooters, moving well with low vision, how brain injury can affect vision, and introducing people with vision loss to online shopping.

To round off the day, a lively collection of Dunedin’s most articulate and opinionated citizens will debate the topic “Not waving but drowning: keeping our heads above the digital flood.”

“We have been running awareness events for several years, but the symposium is really breaking the teaching silos,” says Mary Butler, Principal Lecturer, Otago Polytechnic School of Occupational Therapy.

“The event has brought together students from across Otago Polytechnic to develop different elements as part of their learning projects.

“This includes Occupational Health students who will be developing recipes and producing a book with key messages about eye health, others who will teach school students to vision-screen one another using the Eyes Right Toolkit,” Mary says.

“Otago Polytechnic Information Technology students will also be talking about the intergenerational volunteering program that they have been engaged in over the past six months, teaching older people to use their digital devices.

“Another IT student will showcase the prototype for a virtual reality vision simulation app; and we will also showcase an app that has been developed to help re-train vision for individuals how have had a stroke or brain injury.

“A postgraduate event management student is guiding and researching the event. Also, students from Otago Polytechnic’s School of Design (Communication) are using the event to learn how to brand and raise awareness for the 2019 Save Sight September campaign.

“Lastly, Otago Polytechnic has sponsored a group of student ambassadors to be sighted guides on the day of the symposium this year – to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the audience.”

The Save Sight Symposium will be held at Otago Polytechnic’s Hub, Forth St, on Saturday 8 September. To register, phone 0800 569-849 (extn 1) or email admin@retina.org.nz

Orderdate: 20 Aug 2018
Expiry: 31 Dec 2018