A trainer in front of a white board with people seated in front of her

Sight loss can occur at any time, but incidences of sight loss and long-term health conditions increase with age.

RNIB's Older People and Complex Needs team provides a range of training and professional development opportunities that can help to develop skills in supporting older people with sight loss or people with sight loss and complex needs. These include learning disability, autism, dementia and stroke.

Most of our training packages can also be offered online through a series of webinars and digital learning platforms (such as Microsoft Teams), tailored to staff needs.

All of our training courses are developed with a range of learning styles in mind. They combine a variety of teaching techniques, such as learning through simulated experiences, additional resource packs and reading lists, group work activities, film footage and case studies.

Our training brochure outlines our specialist older people and complex needs training provision:

Download our specialist training brochure

Additionally, bespoke training for supporting older people with sight loss, or for supporting people with complex needs and sight loss, can be arranged by contacting the Older People and Complex Needs team on 0141 739 3682 or by email: [email protected].

More information about our specialist training

Our specialist training raises awareness of potential barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment, provides resources to support access to eye care services, and highlights practical strategies for independent daily living through simple changes to communication, guiding and the environment.

We offer courses on vision, sighted guide support, training for optometrists, as well as a suite of Visibly Better courses aimed at environmental adaptations which support independence and sight loss. 

Additionally, the Older People and Complex Needs team has also developed a series of free downloadable resources and podcasts to support independent learning.


Vision training

The content of our vision training packages is tailored to the needs of your organisation and can focus on either older people, learning disabilities, autism, dementia or stroke. Each course can be delivered independently to meet the needs of the service.

We have three levels of vision training that increase in terms of the depth of information covered and participant commitment. Participants are not required to have completed previous training levels in order to complete the higher levels.

  • Level 1: Vision Awareness training

  • Level 2: Vision Friends training

  • Level 3: Vision Champion training

Sighted guide support training

This training provides the necessary skills to support guiding an older person living with sight loss, or a person with sight loss and complex needs, such as learning disability, autism, dementia or stroke.

Training for optometrists

This training is for optometrists, dispensing opticians and practice staff. The training supports teams to improve the experience of older customers who have sight loss and customers who have sight loss and complex needs, by adopting sight loss friendly principles and complex needs friendly principles of practice.

Visibly Better training suite

The Visibly Better training suite focuses on environmental adaptations that promote safety, independence, dignity and wellbeing. Courses consist of:

  • Introduction to sight loss awareness

  • Sight loss and housing

  • Dementia, sight loss and the built environment

  • Learning disability, sight loss and the built environment

  • Access auditing for sight loss and the built environment

  • Tenant assessors.

You can find out more about Visibly Better and the accreditation system for social housing online.

Online resources and podcasts

The RNIB Older People and Complex Needs team has produced a variety of free online resources and podcasts.

Download our course brochure for more details about our specialist training services, or contact us with any queries on 0141 739 3682 or [email protected].