It was with great interest that AIO read the article on SeeAbility’s outstanding work with children with learning disabilities and the Children in Focus Campaign in the July 14 edition of Optician.

AIO and SeeAbility have been looking at forging ever closer links between the outstanding work that SeeAbility does and how the independent sector can be part of this.

The relationship was kicked off with SeeAbility exhibiting at the AIO Conference in Cardiff in 2016 and we are delighted that not only will they be exhibiting again at our Conference in Cambridge this year, they will also be hosting a CET session on the role of community optometry in their campaign.

As part of our engagement we asked about the contribution the Independent sector makes to the SeeAbility campaign and we were truly astounded to find out that independents make up 93% of SeeAbility’s Find-an-Optometrist database and multiples only 7%.

This is an excellent resource for people with learning disabilities and their carers to search for optometrists that make reasonable adjustments.

Further, independents account for 90% of the Locsu learning disability eye care pathways and multiples only 10%.

We are truly in awe of the work that Ned Saunders does, and his award of Dispensing Optician of the Year is thoroughly deserved. The work that SeeAbility does is outstanding and it has been truly humbling to hear first-hand about the extraordinary dedication of Lisa Donaldson and all the SeeAbility team.

However, there is also a sense of pride that the independent sector has participated with such commitment and is playing such a full and important role in the vital work of SeeAbility.

We are committed to expanding our relationship with SeeAbility to the benefit of all children and adults with learning disability, and helping to improve the lives of these children and their families and friends.