The recent Specsavers Dispensing Conference (SDC) Series was dedicated to addressing the unique needs of children and brought together more than 200 professionals representing 140 Specsavers practices from across Australia and New Zealand.
In a series of events held across ANZ, Specsavers reported that SDC had an impressive turnout, marking a significant milestone in advancing paediatric eyecare.
According to Specsavers dispensing advancement manager Ms Rhian Evans, the feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the event for its educational content.
“It was a privilege to spend so much time amongst our dedicated and talented dispensers and dispensing opticians, hearing first-hand the pressures and challenges that they face and being able to remind them of the importance and impact of dispensing appropriately to different types of people,” Evans said.
Evans said children require suitably tailored spectacles to ensure their needs are met.
“For many reasons, children require a specialised dispense so the theme of this year’s SDC was very appropriate. Most spectacle frames are scaled-down versions of adult frames and are not specifically designed for children,” she said.
“In terms of dispensing, the needs of a child differ significantly from those of an adult. The rate of growth, the way they see and interact with the world around them, and the behaviours and techniques required to accurately dispense to them require careful consideration and a unique set of skills. Lenses for children must also be safe, cosmetically acceptable and positioned accurately to provide the desired effect of an effective, stable, and comfortable optical correction.”
The conference series featured a presentation from guest speaker Dr Alicia Thompson, director of education, research and professional development for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians. An expert on peadiatric frame-fitting with a PhD on paediatric facial anthropometry relating to spectacle frame wear, she discussed facial parameters in growing children and how they relate to frame fitting, and the evaluation of frames and how they can be adjusted or adapted to improve the fit.
Delegates also had the chance to have hands-on experience measuring faces and frames and fitting children with various frames.
“We delivered the four-hour interactive workshop sessions on paediatric dispensing at six locations across ANZ,” Thompson said.
“At every single location, the delegates were so engaged and very enthusiastic for both the subject and the professional development of their paediatric dispensing skills. It was an absolute pleasure to share my research and experiences with such like-minded colleagues and I am so grateful for their participation and for making me feel so welcome.”
Evans said the Specsavers Dispensing Conference was an unquestionable success, drawing groups of professionals who are dedicated to improving the eye health of children.
“The event’s emphasis on education, innovation, and collaboration has set a promising trajectory for the future of paediatric eyecare. As optical professionals continue to work together and apply the knowledge gained at this conference, there’s no doubt that more children will experience a brighter and clearer world,” she said.