ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Making a difference. Visual health needs of people with a learning disability
Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
British Journal of Learning Disabilities
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 187–193, September 2010
How to Cite
McGlade, A., Bickerstaff, D., Lindsay, J., McConkey, R. and Jackson, J. (2010), ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Making a difference. Visual health needs of people with a learning disability. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38: 187–193. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3156.2009.00574.x
- Issue published online: 19 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 19 AUG 2010
- learning disability;
- quality of life;
- visual assessment
- • We wanted to find out if having an eye test helped people with a learning disability see better.
- • People with a learning disability and their family carers helped in the design of the study.
- • The findings showed that good eye sight is important to people with a learning disability.
- • People told us that when they got their glasses it helped them to do simple daily things.
- • These things were watching television, seeing the football score, seeing the computer, going to the park and seeing small print to read.
- • People told us that being able to see better helps them to feel better.
This article discusses the findings from a study to assess the impact of corrective eye treatment in adults with a learning disability. The Special Visual Assessment Clinic (SVAC) is an optometry led multi professional service delivered in a Resource Centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The study, which included user and carer input in its design, involved people with a learning disability (15), their family carers (21) and staff (12) in interviews, group discussions, completion of checklists and clinical audit. Findings revealed that prior to the SVAC taking place there was limited awareness of vision related problems amongst all these groups. Following assessment and corrective treatment which, in the main included the provision of glasses, there was a heightened awareness of visual needs and of the benefits of eye examinations which included some tentative links to quality of life.