Eye care champions spread sight test message among people with learning disabilities
Author: Andrew McClean
A new scheme has been created to provide thousands of people with learning disabilities with information and support to get their eyes tested and vision corrected.
Essilor’s social impact fund, Vision for Life, has funded SeeAbility’s Every Day in Focus programme to support seven eye care champions in London and the North West of England.
Champions such as Grace McGill, who has a learning disability and sight problem, will work to build confidence among local disability groups about what sight tests involve.
‘This is my first job and has filled me with confidence. I never dreamt that I would be standing up at conferences where I share my experiences of the reasonable adjustments that can be made in optical practices and eye clinics. I’m proud to be part of a programme which is transforming inclusion for people with learning disabilities in their communities,’ McGill said.
SeeAbility and Essilor explained that globally, people with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than the general population but are less likely to have access to eye care.
Frédéric Corbasson, executive director at Vision for Life, said: ‘At Vision for Life, our goal is to support sustainable vision care infrastructure and programmes and we are committed to partnering with organisations and funding programs who bring vision care to the communities most in need.’
Lisa Hopkins, chief executive of SeeAbility added that it was important to amplify the voice of people with disabilities because they are best placed to work alongside other people with disabilities.
‘This programme of eye care champions enables us to do just that and ensures that people take care of their eyes, which ultimately enables them to live their best life,’ she said.