Without glassesLana’s vision is blurred.

Lana has profound learning disabilities. She can’t move or speak, uses a wheelchair, and only communicates with her eyes. It means clear vision is vital for her.

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Shining a light

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.

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Having a voice

Lana during a sight test

With her newly prescribed glassesLana 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's headteacher Kay Charles said:

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.

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.