Jayshree Vasani, F.B.D.O.

Winner of Macular Society Award of Excellence “Optician of the year 2019”.


CO-Host – 100% Optical Tech Bites,



I reflected on my three decades in optics and thought I would give an insight into what my role entails and how this role has changed as we progress and hone our skills.

True enough, once the optometrist has done their magic, I am the one trained and qualified to offer the best advice to patient’s on frames styling, lens choices to suit a patient’s lifestyle and optical prescription.

A point of note, here, there are two categories of patients that can only be undertaken by, or under the supervision of, dispensing opticians or optometrists registered with the General Optical Council (GOC)(UK). These are paediatric dispensing and dispensing to patients with a visual impairment.

I can advise parents on which glasses are the best fit for their child‘s ever-changing facial features & offer tips and advice on how to get their child used to their new glasses.

I am the person that has the skills to join my optometry colleague whilst visiting a special school where we provide an eye exam and suitably adapted spectacles for any child regardless of their disability as no one is too disabled to have an eye exam.

I may be the person who chats about the benefits of contact lenses when a mother mentions her teenager is struggling while playing golf.

A number of my colleagues have undertaken the rigorous further study course to qualify as contact lens opticians as dispensing contact lenses can only be conducted by contact lenses opticians (C.L.O.) or optometrists registered with the GOC in the UK.

My active listening skills are put to effective use whilst conducting pre-screening as this is when a patient mentions their dad is struggling with their delayed cataract appointment. I have time to answer her queries on options that can maximise his vision in the meantime.

We are the ones whom the patient has “let slip” they feel isolated and down with their diagnosis of low vision. The dispensing optician can make the referral for vital counselling to sight loss charities or to the ECLO- Eye Clinic Liaison Officer for more complete signposting to a variety of services. (https://www.sightadvicefaq.org.uk/emotional-support)

I may ask gently if this patient is seeing hallucinations with no other symptoms like a change in taste or hearing and take the time to reassure them that it is Charles Bonnet Syndrome, and they are not going mad. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/charles-bonnet-syndrome/)

We can highlight the innovations in eyecare to help with that patient with low vision highlighting assistive technology like OCR devices that can read out text by taking a picture and apps like SEEING Ai. (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/seeing-ai)

My D.O. colleague is the one that overhears the patient saying they have difficulty putting their eyedrops for glaucoma or dry eyes and steps in to discuss how to put the drops in or shows how a compliance aid would be useful. (https://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/knowyourdrops)

We are the ones the patient mentions they are starting their DIY project this weekend and we highlight the need to wear safety specs while drilling those holes in the wall to hang up the new curtains.

My D.O colleague provides insightful CPD for the local eyecare professionals by linking with the local opthalmologist and highlighting innovations in clinical pathways via virtual meetings.

The optometry students in the University go to my D.O colleague as he is their senior lecturer for Dispensing and part of the research team looking at new innovations in spectacle lenses.

My D.O. colleague decided to continue her learning completing a two-year foundation degree, becoming a hearing aid dispenser to add to her skill set providing help and support to all her patients with hearing loss.

I am engaged in the professional standards of my Association (Association of Dispensing Opticians) as ABDO Practical Examiner and Practice Visitor. Whilst all the above roles do not apply to me, they do apply to my fellow D.O. colleagues and Contact Lens Optician colleagues.

Being a Dispensing Optician is a solid foundation for so many avenues in the eyecare/ eye health and vision science sector. Value your Dispensing Optician, use their skill set and collaborate with them for the benefit of our patients.



Author :-


Jayshree has been a Dispensing Optician for three decades. She divides her time between working in practice, being a CPD Facilitator and her roles for the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO).

Her work has seen her collaborate with Daniel Williams -a visually impaired entrepreneur to deliver ‘Seeing Beyond the Eyes’, a nationwide award winning CPD roadshow aimed at giving eye care professionals a greater knowledge and understanding of sight loss and the importance of early sign posting of the services and resources available. Jayshree won the Macular Society award of Excellence “Optician of the year 2019” in recognition of this work.

Passionate about getting Eye Health Messages out to all communities with particular interest in understanding the barriers for BAME communities, Jayshree is a founding committee member of BAME VISION GROUP and has given a number of  talks on eye health on community radio stations in Gujarati.

Her other love is innovations and she is a co host of a virtual pitching showcase  linking optical suppliers to optical buyers and has most recently  collaborated with her optometry collague Bhavin Shah. Together they have a podcast called MORE THAN OPTICS- talking to peers about where their optical skillset has led through lockdown, pandemic and beyond!