Case study - Sighted Guiding

Title of case study/example of best practice:Sighted guiding

Lead Author(s):


Caroline Daniel and Robin Clayton (Optometry staff at the University of Huddersfield)
University:University of Huddersfield
Details of the activity undertaken
Sighted guiding training provided by “Outlookers” (a local low vision support charity): all final year Optometry students engaged in a sighted guiding training session to learn about walking/ orientation tools people with visual impairments use, how to approach a visually impaired person and how to actively guide someone in different scenarios (e.g. crossing a road, looking for landmarks, guiding indoors, pick-up and drop off from a meeting point, indoors moving from one room to another, guiding to a seat, etc.). Optometry students first watched an introductory video and then met with a trainer; initial training was conducted and practised by working in pairs where one student was blindfolded to act as the patient. In this way each student also experienced the “patient-perspective” and provided feedback on the verbal instructions received. 
Impact of the activity
All final year students have regularly tested low vision patients fortnightly as part of their third year clinics. Most of the low vision patients attending were picked up from bus stops near the University, or the train station, and often wanted to be dropped off at a different site after the clinic. The sighted guiding sessions improved the student’s confidence not only in regard to communication but also feeling more confident to guide a patient. Initially students guided patients within the clinics to different testing bays/ equipment and consulting rooms but with experience students picked up patients from train and bus stations and guided them to their next meeting point after completing the sight test. The training and following engagement with guiding, sight testing and conversations on the way back have helped the students not only developing their communication skills but also supported their learning around health and safety, safeguarding, confidentiality, inclusion, empathy, access and so on.
This case study relates to the following GOC outcomes:

Outcome 1. Person Centred Care ☐

Outcome 2. Communication ☐

Outcome 3. Clinical Care ☐

Outcome 4. Ethics and Standards ☒ Outcomes O4.3, O4.9, O4.15

Outcome 5. Risk ☐

Outcome 6. Leadership and Management ☐

Outcome 7. Lifelong Learning☐         

Scaffolding/Student experience & engagement ☐