25 April 2017
VISION 2020 UK supports the SeeAbility response to Child Vision Screening resources consultation
SeeAbility is the national charity that supports people with sight loss and multiple disabilities.
SeeAbility’s concern is that children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to be at risk of serious sight problems than other children, but may be unable to report sight problems, often because they may have other difficulties with communication or their learning disability is ‘overshadowing’ any obvious problems with their vision.
Children with autism (which can often co-present with a learning disability) are also known to have a particular problem in accessing community sight tests and may have difficulty coping with the experience and unfamiliar environments.
This information is available from SeeAbility’s work in special schools, more of which can be found at http://www.seeability.org/childreninfocus and we are just about to publish our third annual report which provides data on 905 children we have tested over the course of our service using a multidisciplinary model of optometrists, orthoptists and a dispensing optician. Data analysis is by Dr Maggie Woodhouse of Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Science.
We hope the following information is of use to Public Health England and we would like to invite a meeting with PHE to discuss our findings and brief on the work needed to establish a programme that provides a specialist sight test at school entry and annually throughout a child’s time at their special school.
To read the full response please see the attachment below