Government urged to make eye tests available in special schools
Monday, 21 September 2015
Almost four in ten pupils attending special schools have no history of eye tests, new research reveals.
The figures from charity SeeAbility make grim reading as children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other children.
If these findings are replicated nationwide 37,000 children with disabilities are missing out on the eye care they need according to the charity.
The statistics were compiled for a new report - An equal right to sight, published this month. It argues that it’s unacceptable that there is no national plan to meet the eye care needs of children with disabilities.
“We are calling on the government to make sight tests available in every special school in England. Children with profound disabilities may not be able to tell someone they have a sight problem, or get to a high street optician. Let’s bring much needed eye care to them instead,” says its Chief Executive, David Scott-Ralphs.
The report draws evidence from the charity’s research project with Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. It is also part of a new Children in Focus Campaign.
SeeAbility’s team has been delivering specialist sight tests to pupils in a cluster of London based special schools since October 2013. The pilot scheme has since extended to seven schools.