James having an eye test

James’ story - Seeing school in a different light

10-year-old James goes to school at Red Gates School in Croydon, one of the special schools SeeAbility runs eye care services in, in partnership with NHS England. 

For some children and adults, especially those with disabilities, having a routine eye test can be extremely challenging. With our expertise, we know that everyone can have an eye test – you don’t need to be able to read or speak. However, it’s important that reasonable adjustments are made to ensure the test can be done successfully, and to make sure people are supported to understand and feel calm about the process.

When these reasonable adjustments aren’t made, it can make a routine eye test very stressful. This was what James and his mum Claire faced. James has a learning disability, experiences sensory issues and is non-verbal, which means the right support in the right place is crucial for his eye tests. 

Claire had been enquiring about eye care services for him for quite some time, after noticing that he might have a problem with his eyes and was concerned that there weren’t many options available. 

When we launched our eye care service in James’ school, it wasn’t long before he had his first ever eye test. It was quickly discovered that James is long sighted. With a prescription of +5.00, his eyesight was making it near impossible to see schoolwork, the faces of his classmates or teachers, or even to use his eyes together to see in 3D. 

Since getting his glasses, his teachers and others around him have all said James is so much more engaged in school activities and he is now able to enjoy his childhood! Claire is thrilled to see James’ progress now he can see clearly.

"I just didn’t know how to get James’ eyes checked. Checks like this should be in place to help families who have no other way." – Claire, James’ Mum.

Reading a book with Hyperopia
Viewing a classroom with Hyperopia
Hyperopia, or near-sightedness, can make it extremely difficult to focus on things close to you. These images may not be accurate to James’ eyesight, but represent a similar experience.