Seeing Beyond the Eyes Zone focusing in on Low Vision at Optrafair Exchange

Following the success of the Seeing Beyond the Eyes project which connects the optical and sight loss support sectors to benefit patients with low vision, Optrafair Exchange is delighted to announce a specialist low vision zone at this year’s event.

Many patients with low vision are already benefiting from the initiative developed by Visualise Training and Consultancy and funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust which reports a huge increase in the number of optical professionals who will now refer patients to vital support services – up from only 9% to an impressive 96%.

The project has trained over 2,200 delegates since its launch in May 2018 and aims to increase awareness of, and referrals to, local and national sight loss organisations and promote inclusivity across all eyecare services for people with, or at risk of sight loss.

Seeing Beyond the Eyes is facilitated by the founder of Visualise Daniel Williams, who was named on the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 list in 2018. He is a man on a mission with low vision who, along with dispensing opticians Peter Black and Jayshree Vasani, is aiming to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by patients who are diagnosed with irreversible sight loss.

Daniel has retinitis pigmentosa and developed the program in response to his own experience post-diagnosis. “I was diagnosed at the age of 8 and of the scariest things for my mother and me was the feeling of isolation and not knowing where to go for support. We saw countless optometrists, dispensing opticians and ophthalmologists, but at no point were we signposted or referred to support services that would have made our journey easier. The good news is that optical professionals and their teams are now able to help people to know they are not alone and there is a positive future with the right knowledge and support.

Phil Ambler, Director of Evidence and Policy at TPT, is extremely pleased by the ongoing success of the initiative.

We are delighted to have funded the Seeing Beyond the Eyes project and that it is helping to raise awareness among eye health professionals of the issues faced by blind and partially sighted people both in the clinic and beyond. It is important that services are accessible, and that people get the right services at the right time as part of their sight loss journey. Dan Williams and his team have done great work in bringing this message to a wider audience.

The report statistics show the project has made a huge impact and is achieving its overall aims but the 2,200 delegates trained so far only represents 9% of the UK optical workforce so there is still much to be done but given the excellent project results since the May 2018 launch, the team is confident this can be achieved.

Book your places here
Read the full outcome report here 
Download a free copy of the Seeing Beyond the Eyes resource pack here

For more information on the project, please contact or visit

Register for this year’s Optrafair Exchange, being held at the NEC in Birmingham from March 30 to April 1.

Optrafair is brought to you by the Federation of Manufacturing Opticians and MA Exhibitions, combining some of the most respected organisations serving the optical market.


The FMOs mission is to provide a national platform for optical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and business service providers to communicate, educate and innovate. FMO plays a key role in educating the public about the importance of looking after their sight and having regular eye examinations.

MA Exhibitions

Optrafair is organised by MA Exhibitions (MAX), an award-winning exhibition business. MAX organises more than 200 events annually, from small, highly focussed seminars to large-scale events. Within MAX’s portfolio there are 14 large-scale events, spread across sectors including electronics, manufacturing, engineering, communications, education, healthcare and print.