Having an eye test (easy read)

An easy read guide on having an eye test for people with learning disabilities. 

This is an easy read document

You need to have your eyes checked


Opticians test your eyes.

They are also called optometrists.

We call them opticians in this factsheet.

Optician giving an eye test

Having your eyes checked is called an eye examination, an eye test or a sight test.

We will call it an eye test in this factsheet.

Years 2019 and 2021

You should have an eye test every 2 years.

Your optician will tell you if you need your eyes checked more.

Kay picture test

Everyone can have their eyes tested.

You don’t have to be able to read or speak to have an eye test.

Person in a wheelchair

There are different ways to check your eyes.

No-one is too disabled to have their eyes checked.

Money with a cross through it

Many people can get free eye tests.


Some of the reasons people get a free eye test are: 

  • You are aged under 16.
  • You are under 19 and in full-time education.
An elderly person
  • You are aged 60 or over
Man using a sight stick
  • You are registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired
Diabetes test
  • You have diabetes. Diabetes is a health problem that can affect your eyesight.
  • You have glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye problem that could stop you seeing properly.
  • You are 40 or over, and your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter has been diagnosed with glaucoma.
  • Your eye doctor has told you that you are at risk of glaucoma.
Person with benefits
  • You receive certain benefits like Income Support.

Having your eyes tested is very important.

An eye test can find out if your eyes are healthy. An eye test also checks for health problems like diabetes 

Person pointing at their eyes

Adults with a learning disability are 10 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other people.


An eye test can check that your eyesight is okay and whether you need new glasses.

Person wearing glasses

Wearing the right glasses can help you to see better.

People doing karaoke

We need good eyesight to help us to communicate and to be independent .

Deaf-blind supporter

You can choose to have an eye test at any optician.

You can take a supporter with you for your eye test.


If you need glasses you can buy these at any optician.


There are opticians who can visit you at home.

Ask your optician about this.

Telling the optometrist about me form

You can fill in our 'Telling the optometrist' form and take it to the optician.

You can fill in the form with a supporter.

It will help the optician make sure your eye test goes well.

What happens when you go for an eye test?

Eye test

The optician will talk with you about your eyes and your eyesight.

You can take your Health Passport to show the optician.

Optometrist looking in eye

The optician will look at your eyes to see if they are healthy.

The optician will need to get close to you to do this.

Eye test

The optician will use a light to look at your eyes.

For some parts of the eye test the room will be quite dark.

Eye test

The optician may ask you to follow a light with your eyes.

This helps them check how your eyes move when you look at things.

Kay picture test

The optician will ask you to look at objects, pictures or letters.

Optician at eye test

You can use words, signing, pointing or other ways to say what you see.

Your supporter can help you to communicate what you see.

Eye test

Maybe you can’t say or sign what the objects, pictures or letters are.

The optician can still test your eyes by watching how you look at things with your eyes.

Eye test frame on persons face

The optician will put a ‘test frame’ on your face.

Blurred vision

They will put different lenses in the test frame to check which lenses help you see things clearly.

Good vision

Lenses can help you see things more clearly.

Lana getting an eye test

If you can’t wear test frames, the optician can hold the lenses for you to look through.

Eye test equipment

During the eye test the optician may use some equipment to check your eyes.

Eye test

The optician will test how well you see things at the side of your vision.

Person putting eye drops in

The optician may ask to put drops in your eyes.

It may feel uncomfortable. 

The drops help the optician to see inside your eyes 

Eye test

Some machines blow a puff of air onto your eye or touch your eye gently.

This helps test for a serious eye problem called glaucoma. 

It does feel uncomfortable but this test is important.   

Person receiving a prescription

After your eye test the optician will tell you about your eye sight and whether you need new glasses.

They will give you a piece of paper called a prescription.


If the optician says you need new glasses you can get these from any optician you choose.


If the optician has found that you have an eye problem, they might tell you to see an eye doctor.

Feedback from my optometrist form

We have a form called 'Feedback from my optometrist’.

You can ask the optician to fill this form in 

Health Action Plan

If you have a health action plan you can add information about your eye test to it.