When you meet Lance, the first thing that strikes you is how calm he is. For a young professional working in a busy city, Lance shows a remarkable calmness and clarity of purpose that feels genuine and reassuring. It’s clear that this is someone who has a natural talent for explaining complex issues in a way that is clear, concise, and accessible.

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Eye care equality

Lance is one of three Eye Care Champions working in London for SeeAbility. His role is all about helping people with learning disabilities and autism access good eye health in their communities. As someone with autism, he is able to use his lived experience to help present the information in the most accessible way possible.

Lance is no stranger to talking about autism. At school, he often found himself left out as people didn’t understand him.

At the time I didn’t know how to control my emotions and feelings.
Sometimes I’d do things which people didn’t understand. I wouldn’t say they were unkind to me, but I felt like I was the odd one out.

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Lance looks confidently at the camera sitting at a wooden table outside“Understanding me”

This all changed when a teacher at school encouraged Lance to do a presentation about autism and how it affects him. The video was shown to his class at school, and it changed everything. Suddenly he felt supported by his classmates and that everyone understood him. He felt included.

The experience was a real confidence booster for Lance, and has made him passionate about presenting and talking about issues close to him. When he saw the Eye Care Champion job advertised, his job coach knew it would fit perfectly with Lance’s communication skills. He got the phone call offering him the job just two hours after being interviewed.

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Natural ability

Lance is settling into the role very quickly. He’s a natural. Already he’s been out at conferences sharing the message about better eye care and explaining how people can access the eye care they need in the community. Current challenges from the coronavirus situation mean these events are on pause, but our Eye Care Champions are thinking of ways to get the message out digitally.

I’m excited to explore all the different options. I want lots of people to hear my experiences, so they know what it’s like for someone with autism. It’s all really exciting.