Lana is nine-years-old and has profound learning disabilities. She can’t move or speak, so uses a wheelchair and she only communicates with her eyes, so clear vision is vital for her. Sadly without glasses Lana’s vision is blurred.

SeeAbility visited Lana at her special school and gave her a specialist sight test. By shining a light in Lana’s eye and assessing how it reflects off her retina, optometrist Lisa Donaldson was able to judge the strength of spectacles Lana needed, even if Lana couldn’t tell her.

The method is called ‘retinoscopy’ and Lisa explains:

We were able to test Lana even though she doesn’t talk. She loves lights and mirrors and with the help of her teaching assistant we reassured her throughout the test. It showed that she has a small squint which is mainly controlled when she wears her glasses.

With her newly prescribed glasses Lana can access augmentative and alternative communication devices using a high-tech system called an Eye Gaze. The software has an inbuilt camera which tracks where Lana’s eyes are looking so that she can move the mouse around. To click the mouse, Lana blinks or dwells by staring at the screen for a few moments. Her new glasses are vital because they allow her to focus more accurately on the screen.

Lana during a sight test

She can now be supported to make choices and use her eyes to let people know that she has an opinion. This is an incredible step for Lana,

      says Lana’s head teacher, Kay Charles. 

You can see the joy on her face. Her Mum can read her expression and can really see the difference. Lana is charming and people find her rewarding to work with. Instead of being totally trapped in her body Lana now has a chink that lets others know she has things to say.

Join our campaign so more children like Lana receive regular sight tests and support with glasses that can open up new ways to communicate their needs and views.