Perseid School

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SeeAbility                                           

SeeAbility has been delivering sight tests and dispensing glasses in our school since 2013 as part of their Children in Focus Campaign.

Sight is very important to a child’s learning and development, and early eye care can prevent more serious sight problems later on. SeeAbility has found children with learning disabilities are:

  • 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children
  • often not accessing the eye care they need
  • over four in ten pupils had no history of sight tests or eye care
  • half of the children seen have had a problem with their eyes or vision

Their research shows that thousands of children with disabilities across the country are missing out on the eye care they need. There is no national plan to meet their eye care needs.

SeeAbility is only able to do this critical work through fundraised and granted income. If you would like to help, go to their donate page and make a real lasting difference to children with learning disabilities at Perseid School and this country.

We love it when SeeAbility visit and we absolutely support their campaign to have a national sight testing programme in special schools in England.

Ellie’s story

Nine-year-old Ellie attends Perseid. She’s non-verbal, has limited mobility and uses a wheelchair. Ellie relies on her eyes to communicate by pointing using Eye Gaze. This is why looking after her eyes and vision is so important.

Ellie with mum (left) and Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden

Ellie contracted a virus before she was born that caused her disability. This virus is known to lead to eye and hearing problems so Ellie has had many hospital eye clinic appointments.

Ellie’s mum, Alyson, says sometimes she has to prioritise other medical appointments over eye clinics. Also, Ellie finds hospital visits stressful as she knows they may cause her pain. She is anxious if her routine is disturbed and already misses school to attend many medical appointments. Now that SeeAbility regularly monitors her eye health and tests her sight at school, Ellie spends more time learning and developing, and Alyson is happy.

She needs someone who knows her well to communicate and having sight tests at school means her teacher or learning support assistant can be there to help her communicate with the optometrist. But SeeAbility can also sight test just by shining a light in her eye!

The team

Optometrist: they carry out the sight test using a range of equipment suitable for children with disabilities, check the health of the eyes, prescribe glasses when needed and make referrals to other professionals.

Orthoptist: they see all the new four to five-year-olds starting in reception and do a joint assessment with the optometrist to check for squints and lazy eyes.

Dispensing optician: they chaperone the optometrist and measure for and fit any glasses that are needed, undertake repairs and also give advice on helping children to wear their glasses.

Contact

If you would like to contact SeeAbility about their sight testing programme:

Lisa Donaldson (Clinical Lead - Children in Focus) on 07899 975 143 or email: l.donaldson@seeability.org

Or Laura Christie (National Manager - Children and Families) on 0161 748 6107 or email: L.Christie@SeeAbility.org

Or Tania Omany (Optometry Clinic Manager) on 01372 755 068 or T.Omany@SeeAbility.org

Useful Information and more resources

Visit SeeAbility to find out more. They have loads of free resources on eye care for children with disabilities. Or we have some of their important resources below.