Friends & Family News banner.SeeAbility has been campaigning for years for the inequality of access to eye care to be recognised. We're delighted that the NHS has finally agreed that preventative eye care in this high risk population is an important issue and that they are now listening and acting to implement change, with plans to roll out the sight testing programme in special schools over the next 12 months. 

Kiyana having a sight testThe pledge comes at a time when SeeAbility are actively recruiting more people with learning disabilities to act as eye care champions which means we’ll be well placed to assist in making sight tests as accessible as possible.

However there's still much work to be done to help people with learning disabilities and/or autism move away from institutional settings. The NHS plan falters on the need for them to live independently with support that meets their needs. We need central government to address the the need for local specialist provision - otherwise more people will end up in crisis and in Assessment Treatment Units (ATUs) unnecessarily, often at great distance from their families. 

Reece smiling with his boxing coachAs a social care provider SeeAbility actively supports people coming from ATUs in order for them to rebuild their lives and thrive. Unfortunately there’s still not enough urgency in dealing with some of the most pressing issues facing those with learning disabilities and/or autism including reducing the use of inpatient settings and listening to people affected and their families and friends.

We look forward to seeing if some of these issues are addressed in the long overdue social care green paper.