• 17Jan

    Eye care information for people with learning disabilities

    SeeAbility has launched a new improved online information service dedicated to eye health care for people with learning disabilities. A new dedicated area on their website My Eye Care has been developed by SeeAbility together with Mencap service users and stands to dramatically improve access to eye care information for people with learning disabilities.

    There are one million adults with learning disabilities in the UK and they are 10 times more likely to be blind or partially sighted with six out of ten needing to wear glasses. People with severe or profound learning disabilities are the most likely to have serious sight problems.

    People with learning disabilities may not be able to tell others that their sight is affected, though there may be significant impact on their quality of life. Sometimes behavioural problems can be attributed by carers and health professionals to their learning disability – when undiagnosed sight loss might in fact be the cause. Changes in behaviour may be the only way to communicate that they have problems and this behaviour is often misinterpreted by families and supporters.

    SeeAbility who previously operated the Look Up website undertook a study with people with learning disabilities, support staff and high street optical practitioners to ascertain their respective needs and how best to service these. The culmination of this work has been to create information specific to each audience all accessible via the SeeAbility website.

    A new area of the site has been created for people with learning disabilities, and includes easy read factsheets and videos covering eye care related information. For people who cannot read or feel more reassured by the spoken word a female avatar, Emma, describes what’s on the screen to enable, visitors to get the most from the site. The website features information about eye conditions, eye tests, eye health, wearing glasses and eye operations. Information is available in audio and easy read.