Andy Fisher

Andy Fisher is an independent visual impairment (VI) trainer and consultant, a VI rehab specialist and low vision therapist. Andy qualified as a Rehabilitation Worker (RW) for visually impaired people in 1993 (award of Cert. Rehab Work with VI People) at the South Regional Association for the Blind Rehab Training School in London. He has worked for a number of social services departments in Wales and the south of England in physical disability and visual/sensory impairment teams. During his rehab career Andy has specialised in low vision practice, and has worked in low vision clinics and services based in hospitals in the community for a number of years providing low vision therapy and rehab input. In July 1998 Andy joined Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) as a Low Vision Officer, a post he held for over seven years. His role was to develop low vision therapy practice for Rehab Workers (and other non-optical low vision and optometric professionals), and training packages in low vision for all staff working in visual impairment and low vision from all sectors at all levels. Whilst at RNIB, Andy continued to work in vision rehab ‘practice’ as a rehab worker in various Social Services departments in South Wales and the West. Country.

After leaving RNIB in Oct 05 Andy set up Focal Point UK, a private sector VI and low vision training and consultancy agency. Focal Point UK provides training to professionals, consultancy and support services such as supplying rehab workers under contract to local authorities, providing access audits and specialist functional assessments and training throughout the UK. Andy also works a low vision consultant to a leading UK low vision optical company, and continues to work in practice as a rehab worker working directly with VI people eg. for St Dunstans (national UK charity for VI and war blinded ex-service personnel), and undertakes a range of specialist rehab assessments and training work for education and employment agencies throughout the UK.

An experienced and qualified trainer, Andy has over 12 years training experience with RNIB and at Focal Point UK. He holds a Certificate in Education (Cert. Ed) qualification and a BA (Hons) degree in Education (Visual Impairment). Currently Andy is the Orientation and Mobility tutor on the Canterbury Christchurch University Rehab Worker training course at Maidstone, run with Kent Association for the Blind, and has previously been a placement tutor for rehab students. He has been a rehab consultant to Pocklington Trust on their lighting research projects, and recently was the author of the new lighting brochure published by RNIB and Pocklington Trust. As a facilitator on the lottery award winning Macular Disease Society ‘Train the Trainer’ Eccentric Viewing course, Andy worked with society members to teach them eccentric viewing skills and how to train others to use it. Andy is a trustee for Wales Council for the Blind, and has also sat on various sector research and professional advisory panels on all matters relating to vision rehab and low vision work over the past ten years.