Who does what in eye care and how can they help my child?

If your child has a vision impairment, you'll come across a number of different professionals, some are there to provide support with your child's health, others to support their education and life at home. Below are a few of the people who you may come across, a full list can be found on can be found on RNIB's Who does what in eye care web page.

Qualified teacher of visually impaired children (QTVI) - Your local education authority (LEA) should have at least one QTVI to work with you and your child both at home and at school. These specialists are qualified teachers who have additional qualifications and experience in working with children with a visual impairment. They are a key contact for you and your child.

Habilitation officer - sometimes called a Mobility officer. They will be able to advise you on how to encourage your child to move around more independently and develop everyday living skills.

Optometrists - also known as opticians are trained to examine the eyes for any defects in vision or eye health issues. They can also prescribe the correct glasses or contact lenses if required.

Ophthalmologists - Ophthalmologists are specialist doctors based at the hospital. They have qualifications and experience in eye disorders and in treating them with appropriate medicine and surgery. You may be referred to one to check that your child's eyes are healthy.

Orthoptist - The orthoptist usually works with the ophthalmologist at the hospital, but you may see them in a health clinic or visiting a school. They will test your child's sight, look at eye movements, assess how well both eyes work together and check for squints (turning eyes).

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