General Optical Council eBulletin 32
April 2017

Article from SeeAbility: Delivering an equal right to sight

There are 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK. Research has shown 1 in 10 adults will be blind or partially sighted, 6 in 10 adults will need glasses and children with a learning disability are 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children; having a learning disability comes with a very high risk of having a sight problem.

SeeAbility is the national charity that works to support people with learning disabilities with their eye care, and also to share practical pointers and advice for the optical sector. 

It is vital that everyone can access a sight test, regardless of disability, and the need for ‘reasonable adjustments’ is emphasised in the GOC Standards of Practice

A person with a learning disability might be anxious at the prospect of a sight test, unable to tell you what they can see, or unable understand information. Performing pre-test visits or being able to split the test up could well help the person be less anxious, and appropriate testing materials mean a person does not have to be able to read.

At SeeAbility we provide ‘easy read’  information about eye care for people with learning disabilities, which practices can use to help a person understand more about getting an eye test or what a glasses prescription means. We often run training events and are an approved CET provider.

Meeting the communication needs of patients has never been more important, and in England it is mandatory to provide eye care information in a format that the individual requests[1]; although our research has shown that this new obligation is still not well known in the optical sector. All of our accessible information is freely available on our website for you to download and use at

Many adjustments can be made at little or no extra cost. The College of Optometrists[2] has helped to produce a useful self-assessment tool to assist optical practices in assessing how well they cater for people with learning disabilities.

Community optometrists who can offer additional support for people with learning disabilities can be part of SeeAbility’s database of optometrists, to help promote the service.

There is a lot of information and support out there to help deliver a more equal right to sight. Please contact SeeAbility if you would like to learn more.

Contact: Stephen Kill, Eye Care and Vision Manager, SeeAbility, Tel: 07738 040307 or Email:


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eBulletin 28 April 2017

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Consent guidance

Education Strategic Review

Article from SeeAbility

Article from the Information Commissioner’s Office

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