Eye Gaze Essentials | Lisa Donaldson introduction

April 1, 2020



Meet Lisa Donaldson, from SeeAbility

In the first of our Eye Gaze Essentials series, we introduce Lisa Donaldson of SeeAbility.

Lisa is Head of Eyecare, Clinical Lead Optometrist at SeeAbility, and has worked on their children’s projects for the past six years. This has seen her become involved in the biggest global study, which is now the biggest published global study, of the eye care needs of the special school population.

Summarising some of the key study findings, Lisa explains

“In England, we know that children with the most profound needs attend special schools, that’s around 125,000 children in England. For a long time it was believed that, because they have the most complex needs, their eye care needs would have been met.

All of those children are entitled to an NHS sight test but our work has shown that only about 10% of them have ever accessed that right. That’s with an average age of 11.

Then, across that population again it’s a staggering 40% at the age of 11 with an average age of 11, who’ve never had any eye care at all.

The majority of eye care happens in the hospital setting. We know that a lot of children are failing to attend hospital appointments and getting lost in that system and then their eye care isn’t getting picked up again.”

Key facts

  1. SeeAbility published the biggest global study into the eye care needs of the special school population.
  2. Only 10% of this population have used the free NHS eye tests.
  3. 40% of the same population have never had any eye care at all.

Who are SeeAbility?

SeeAbility provide specialist support, accommodation and eye care help for people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss.

Registered as The Royal School for the Blind, SeeAbility is one of the oldest disability charities in the UK and has pioneered specialist support for over 220 years.

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