Leighton is personally affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa. He first became involved with the former Retinitis Pigmentosa Society of Victoria in 1982, volunteering in the office and serving as a committee member, in various roles, including president for many years, until its merger with Retina Australia in 2018. Simultaneously, Leighton was appointed as a Member of the Board of Retina Australia during the period 1987 – 2004 and then continuously since April 2008. Leighton has been Chairman since 2015. He is a Life Member of the organisation.
Leighton has been a delegate to Retina International for many years and was involved in the planning and implementation of the Retina International World Congress held in Melbourne in 1988. He has also been involved in organising National Australian Congresses since 2000.
Leighton has extensive experience in serving the community through being a director on the boards of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind and Blind Citizens Australia, as well as being a member of Vision 2020 Australia Committees, the Nillumbik Disability Advisory Committee and Sensory/Recreation Trails Advisory Committee and the Disability Advisory Committee for the Shire of Diamond Valley.
Leighton has worked tirelessly for over forty years in the blindness sector to ensure that people like himself who are personally affected by an inherited retinal disease are supported, and that information about their condition is freely available to them.
Leighton is committed to working with board colleagues to ensure that funds are raised to support Australian research into inherited retinal disease and that any monies collected are disseminated to worthy Australian research projects. He is dedicated to working with all members to ensure that there is light at the end of the tunnel.