THOUSANDS of vulnerable children with disabilities are missing out on crucial eye care – despite the high risk of sight problems.
Nearly four in 10 pupils attending special schools have no history of eye tests, according to research by SeeAbility, the national sight loss and disability charity
Children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other children.
There are 100,000 children in special schools. If these findings are replicated nationwide 37,000 children with disabilities are missing out on the eye care they need.
“We are calling on the Government to make sight tests available in every special school in England,” said David Scott-Ralphs, SeeAbility’s chief executive.
“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.
“We want people to join our Children in Focus Campaign and sign the petition on our website.”
The report draws evidence from the charity’s research project with Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Science.
SeeAbility’s team has been delivering specialist sight tests to pupils in a cluster of London-based special schools since October 2013.
Mr Scott-Ralphs added: “Making sight tests available in every special school in England would be a start in making the reforms needed and help thousands of children with disabilities.”
Watch the Campaign video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=grlsEsXEPeI.
SeeAbility, tel 01372 755000