New Sutton eye test scheme offers life-changing benefits to people with learning disabilities

Last Wednesday local MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake, attended the launch of the enhanced eyecare scheme for people with learning disabilities, at Wallington Opticians on Woodcote Road.

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A new eye screening service launched in Sutton will help improve the quality of life for people with learning disabilities.Under the service, people with learning disabilities will be offered longer, adapted tests to assess problems with their vision.

Figures show that serious sight problems are 10 times more common among people with learning disabilities and have a disproportionate impact on the quality of life they can lead. This is a real but avoidable issue, eye health and disability experts claim.

Welcoming the new scheme, Eyal Gelbart, Chairman of the Local Optical Committee who campaigned for its introduction in Sutton said: “Eye problems for anyone can have a major impact on quality of life.  However, for people with learning disabilities it may be hard for them to explain what the problem is.”

Adding his support, local Member of Parliament, Tom Brake, said: "This is a brilliant initiative. People with a learning disability are much more likely than others to have a visual impairment and may find eye tests very worrying.  This scheme should make the availability of eye tests for people (over 14) with a learning disability, much more widely known and help reduce the anxiety associated with the tests."

The scheme is championed nationally by the Local Optical Committee Support Unity (LOCSU) and leading disability charity SeeAbility.

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