Scott Watkin, SeeAbility's Eye Care and Vision Development Officer, has been nominated for a British Empire Medal by the Prime Minister in the New Year 2018 Honours list.

He has been recognised for his tireless work in the disability community. Scott has learning disabilities and fights for better eye care for his peers, travelling across the country giving support, advice and information on how to look after their eyes.

Adults with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to have a sight problem and Scott has an eye condition called keratoconus – twice corrected by surgery.

  

Family pride

His family are thrilled with Scott’s mum saying: “I would never have thought Scott would get this much recognition for his work. I have seen him grow in confidence and he works very hard to give people with learning disabilities a voice. We are very proud and would like to congratulate Scott.”

Scott also holds positions on the board of Learning Disability England and as a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. He is a fierce advocate for people with learning disabilities having the same rights as everyone else.

 

Scott's surprise

“I’m surprised but really excited and honoured to be awarded a British Empire Medal,” says Scott, who lives on the Isle of Wight with his wife and young daughter.

“I was told I would live in a care home and now I am married and live independently. I will continue to make sure people with learning disabilities have a voice and can make a difference.

I would like to thank everybody who has supported me, especially my colleagues at SeeAbility. They believed in me and knew that my learning disabilities would not stop me being able to do a good job,” he continues.

 

Rightly recognised

“We’re so proud of Scott for all he has achieved. He’s rightly been recognised for his outstanding commitment to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, in particular, to make sure no one needlessly loses their sight,” says SeeAbility Director of External Affairs, Paula Spinks-Chamberlain.