SeeAbility sent a specialist team of eye care professionals to join a sight testing team at this year's Special Olympics, held in Sheffield earlier this month. The 10th National Games saw around 2,600 athletes with a range of learning disabilities come together from across the country to compete in 19 sports.

We donated clinical time because people with learning disabilities are far more likely to have sight problems than other people. The Special Olympics was a perfect opportunity to reach a huge number of people with learning disabilities and prevent avoidable sight loss.

During the four-day event - kickstarted on August 7th with an opening ceremony - athletes had access to Special Olympics' 'Healthy Athletes' programme, which provides health services and health education. SeeAbility worked with a team of student optometrist volunteers in the 'Opening Eyes' area, and our specialist team included optometrist and SeeAbility Vice-Chairman of Trustees, Gordon Illet (pictured below left), as well as Raimonda Bullaj from our Children in Focus sight testing team.

 

Dispensing glasses

Our award-winning dispensing optician, Ned Saunders, volunteered throughout the week and dispensed hundreds of pairs of glasses and complimentary sunglasses (kindly provided by Essilor) to athletes who needed them. Our team also offered advice to athletes and distributed easy read factsheets and information about looking after their eyes and glasses. 

SeeAbility's National Manager for Children and Families, Laura Christie, said:

I met some amazing athletes, gave lots of advice about looking after eyes, and supported the optometrists in some of the eye tests. I loved helping a runner (pictured below) to have his glasses adjusted so they stopped falling off of his face!

 

If you'd like to find out more about SeeAbility's advisory work, or you'd like to access our easy read resources, visit the Looking after your eyes section of our website.