University of Technology Sydney

96037 Therapy, Management and Rehabilitation

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health (GEM)
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces specialised areas of orthoptic practice and modes of patient management in vision rehabilitation. There is a focus on orthoptic practice in an international and national context with study of the epidemiology of eye disease in different communities, such as those in developing countries and Indigenous Australian populations with culturally appropriate case management. The process of screening for vision disorders in children and adults, including standards for visual impaired paralympic athletes and cases are used to illustrate effective and interdisciplinary patient management. Long-term case management for optimal therapeutic outcomes is studied with particular attention to the practice of visual rehabilitation in cases of low vision and in brain injury, driver rehabilitation and improving visual performance including visual and electronic aids.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

37.5. Accurately communicate a patient/client’s visual capacity and needs in terms that can be readily understood by a diverse range of patient/client’s, their families, health professionals and personnel in community/government services and non-government organisations to assist with the transition from the medical to rehabilitation model of care.
37.3. Apply current evidence and sound clinical reasoning to the analysis of cases of people with visual impairment and other disabilities, in order to plan adaptive investigation and interdisciplinary management for optimal patient/client outcomes.
37.1. Integrate knowledge of complex ocular and neurological conditions that cause visual impairment with an appreciation of the psychosocial impact of vision loss on individuals and their families to guide a respectful and compassionate approach to patient care.
37.2. Measure residual visual function using both standard and adaptive clinical procedures to accurately describe functional vision loss and its impact on daily living for complex clinical cases.
37.4. Plan a rehabilitation strategy for patients/clients with visual impairment through the integration of multiple visual enhancement tools including optical and electronic devices, Braille and other adaptive technologies, and orientation and mobility training to maximise patient function.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

The learning outcomes for this subject are as follows:

  • Demonstrate professional behaviour and expertise in the delivery of safe, competent and responsible practice for the benefit and care of patients and the wider community. (.01)
  • Reflect on knowledge, attitudes and skills acquired for the evaluation and integration of emerging evidence into practice, promoting the growth of personal and professional learning and the education of others. (.02)
  • Analyse and synthesise knowledge of health sciences concepts and theory, and apply skills of scientific research and clinical reasoning to support decision-making in orthoptic practice. (.03)
  • Engage in leadership and collaboration for the development of patient-focused clinical teams to ensure the integration of effective health care. (.04)
  • Be an advocate for their patient, demonstrating sound, ethical, compassionate and respectful patient-focused care while acknowledging responsibility for personal health and wellbeing. (.05)
  • Effectively and accurately communicate to patients, their families, carers and members of the healthcare team and contributing to the wider role of health education and its promotion, acknowledging and adapting communication to address cultural and linguistic diversity. (.06)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of health systems and concerns in national and global communities, with awareness of the social and cultural context of their practice reflected in a consultative approach to the formulation and implementation of management plans that meet the diverse needs of individuals and communities. (.07)
  • Represent the role of the orthoptist in multidisciplinary environments and through self-awareness and acknowledgement of the contribution of other health practitioners, support an interdisciplinary approach to attain the best outcomes for patients. (.09)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Therapy, Management and Rehabilitation is the specialist subject on vision rehabilitation in the Masters of Orthoptics course. This subject builds directly on foundational concepts related first year subjects by introducing more complex conditions impacting on functional vision. In addition to theoretical and practical knowledge of these conditions, this subject prepares students for the assessment of these conditions by refining orthoptic clinical skills to manage client with lifelong low vision. This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Lifelong learning
  • Professional capacity
  • Global citizenship
  • Cultural Competence

Teaching and learning strategies

Preparation for Learning: Students will be provided with the details of preparation activities each week through the subject’s Canvas site. Activities are designed to help students prepare for their learning in lectures and workshops by engaging them with textbook, journal and other readings materials. In addition, clinical practical classes have pre-practical reading attached, which are expected to be completed prior to attending these classes to ensure maximal time can be spent on hands-on practice.

Active Lectures: Lectures provide an introduction to topic content each week and guest lecturers are invited to share their professional expertise on particular topic areas at relevant times throughout the session. Lectures are active and require students to engage and participate in the analysis of case presentations, class discussion and debate and other active and collaborative learning methods.

Case-based Learning: Case-based learning is a form of problem-based learning (PBL) and a key learning strategy used in workshops. Authentic patient clinical cases are analysed individually and in small (POD) groups. Through this students develop skill in clinical reasoning and practice the application of theoretical knowledge gained in lectures and practical classes to differentially diagnose and develop appropriate plans for the investigation and management of patients with a variety of ocular conditions.

Research-integrated Learning: Taking an evidence-based approach to the investigation and management of patient cases is essential for effective patient care and an important skill for Orthoptic students to develop. Current research is integrated into content provided in lectures and pre-work and students are provided opportunities in workshop classes and through assessment to read, discuss and utilise current research in clinical vision in the context of evidence-based patient care.

Collaborative Learning: As health professionals, teamwork is an essential skill to ensure patients are managed appropriately within interdisciplinary teams of health professionals. Teamwork skills are developed through collaboration with peers in active lectures and workshops, conducted in collaborative POD classrooms, as well as, when performing clinical skills in practical classes and through group assessment.

Reflective Learning: Students are encouraged to critically reflect on their learning throughout the subject to identify areas where they may improve their performance and to assist in the development of lifelong learning skills. Specific activity where reflective learning is encouraged and assessed is a reflective evaluation of patient interview task.

Practice-based Learning: Clinical practical classes are conducted in small groups (max. 12 students) for 5 weeks for this subject. These provide students with an opportunity to learn and develop competency in clinical skills relevant to low vision rehabilitation practice. These sessions are entirely practice-based and following a short demonstration of the skill, students are closely supervised and provided instruction and feedback, as they participate in hands-on practice of skills, including the use of specialised low vision equipment and technology.

Authentic Clinical Experiences: Students participate in a patient interview project. A patient with low vision is recruited and assigned to a group of 3 students. The students have two weeks to research and prepare interview questionnaires. The students arrange the interview and the data that they collected are analysed and presented to in class.

Self-directed Practice: Clinical practical classes provide students with supervised practice of clinical skills, however, to attain a sufficient level of competency in clinical skills, self-directed practice outside of class time is required. As a general guide, students are expected to spend approximately 1 hour of self-directed practice for every hour of clinical practical taught. This is important preparation for clinical placement and your OSCE exams.

Ongoing Feedback: In-class verbal feedback is an important teaching and learning strategy employed throughout the subject. Students are provided with feedback relating to the performance of clinical skills in clinical practical classes and relating to clinical reasoning and understanding of key concepts by staff facilitating workshops. Opportunities for verbal formative feedback on assignments are given prior to final submission and detailed summative feedback following final submission. Mock OSCE exams are held to provide students with formative feedback on clinical skills prior to the OSCE exams.

Content (topics)

Topics cover areas of assessing and treating people with low vision. The topics are listed the week-by-week program. Lecture and practical notes will be posted on Canvas.


Assessment task 1: Case Study


The case study assignments are a way of reinforcing the content learnt in lectures and workshops in Therapy, Management and Rehabilitation so far this semester and allow students to practice and improve their clinical reasoning skills by combining clinical knowledge and evidence in the analysis of patient information.

This task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

Lifelong learning, Professional capacity, Cultural Competence


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

37.3 and 37.4

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

.01, .02 and .07

Type: Case study
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

1500-2000 words


See criteria provided in class and on Canvas.

Assessment task 2: OSCE/VIVA (must-pass component)


An OSCE/VIVA is an assessment format that enables students to demonstrate understanding, clinical and equipment skill, clinical reasoning and communication that are not readily assessed in a written format. These exams will allow the student to demonstrate knowledge they have gained across the subject through lectures, clinical practicals and through self-directed practice.

This task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

Lifelong learning, Professional capacity, Cultural Competence


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

37.1, 37.2, 37.3, 37.4 and 37.5

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

.01, .02, .05, .06, .07 and .09

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 40%

30 minutes


This examination aims to assess the student in a structure that best assesses their competency for participation in rehabilitation/low vision working environment. As such, the primary level of competency must relate to the patient’s safety for all therapeutic procedures. Students must also demonstrate that they are able to effectively complete the set tasks within the given timeframe. Emphasis will be given to good levels of instruction and communication adapted to the patient’s circumstances, effective and safe demonstration of the use of therapeutic devices and that patient records are accurate and comprehensible. Prior to the exam students will be given the criteria for the examinable skills.

Assessment task 3: Group Presentation and reflection report


This small group project is designed to facilitate your insight into visual impairment (VI) and to how VI affects each person individually. To achieve this you will conduct an interview with a client with low vision. If the client is a child, you will conduct your interview with the family of the child.

This task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

Lifelong learning, Professional capacity, Global citizenship, Cultural Competence


This task is aligned with the following subject learning objectives:

37.2 and 37.5

This task is aligned with the following course learning outcomes:

.01, .02, .03, .04, .05, .06, .07 and .09

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 40%

20 minute class presentations

Individual reflection report 800-1000 words


See criteria provided in class and on Canvas.

Minimum requirements

In order to pass this Subject, students are required to attend a minimum of 90% of lectures and workshops as well as 100% of clinical practicals. Students must submit all assessment tasks and achieve a minimum of 50% of the subject’s total marks overall. The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is a compulsory component of assessment and students must achieve a minimum of 50% and perform all skills safely to pass the subject.

Required texts

Coursework Assessments Policy

Coursework Assessments Procedures

Graduate School of Health Policy, Guidelines and Procedures (login required)

Recommended texts

Silverstone B, Lang MA, Rosenthal BP, and Faye EE. (2000). The Light House Handbook on Vision impairment and Vision Rehabilitation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Heckenlively and Arden (2006). Principles and Practice of Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision. MIT Press, Massachusetts.

Stidwill, D & Fletcher, R. (2010) Normal Binocular Vision: Theory, Investigation and Practical Aspects. Wiley-Blackwell

Rowe, FJ (2012) Clinical Orthoptics. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken