Patients with learning disabilities

Patients with learning disabilities


Young people and adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than others.

People with learning disabilities may not know they have a problem with their vision and may find it hard to tell others.

Many carers and supporters may think that the people they support can see perfectly well yet 6 in 10 people will need to wear glasses.

All people with learning disabilities should have regular eye care and no one is too disabled to have an eye test, but some people will need more time and reasonable adjustments.

The free NHS-funded ‘Eye tests made easy service’ is for people who will find it hard to have a standard eye test and has these adjustments:

  • The option to visit the opticians before the eye test for people who need to
  • A longer appointment or a few short appointments so people have the time they need
  • Trained opticians who know how to test and communicate with people
  • An easy read form to fill in to tell the optician important information
  • An easy read report after the eye test to explain what was found

Only people who have been trained can provide this service and are on the map of practices.

Who is the service for?

The service is for people registered with a GP within Regional Primary Eyecare area.

This service is for people age 14 years old or above who are known by their GP or local learning disability team as having a moderate to severe learning disability.

How do I book an appointment with the service?

Five Easy Steps to having an Eye Test:

  1. Choose your optician from the practices map
  2. Contact them and tell them the appointment is for a person with a learning disability
  3. Ask the opticians about a free NHS eye test
  4. Fill in SeeAbility’s ‘Telling the Optometrist about me’ form to take with you. You can download this form here or from the optician.
  5. Have your eye test

The optician will give you a report called ‘Feedback from my Optometrist’ to tell you what they found out about your eyes as your eye test. This is for you to keep safe and show to people who support you.

Appointments are can be made during normal working hours. Some opticians can do appointments in the evenings and at the weekend.

Some of the opticians can do domiciliary eye tests where people can have their eyes tested at home, school/college or at a day centre if they can’t get to an opticians because of physical mental illness or disabilities.

You can use the map below to search and find details of optical practices which offer this service, just type your postcode in the ‘search box’ and press ‘enter’.

The dots on the map are all the opticians who are part of the service, click on the dot to see the name and phone number of the optician. You can zoom in and out of the map so see where the opticians are.

There is also a list of all the opticians in the box under the map, use the bar at the side to move down the list. You can then click on the opticians to see where it is on the map.

Your local learning disability team can help find an optician if you need support.
Download the Eye Tests Made Easy flyer