Learning Disabilities and Vision

People with learning disabilities of all ages experience alarmingly high levels of sight problems.

In 2016 SeeAbility estimated numbers were at their highest level yet, with hundreds of thousands of adults and children with learning disabilities experiencing poor vision.

1 in 10 of the learning disability population of England will is blind or partially sighted. Adults with learning disabilities are 10 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other people. 6 in 10 people with learning disabilities will need glasses.

Children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children.

The more profound and complex a person’s learning disability is, the more likely they will have a serious sight problem and certain conditions, such as Down’s Syndrome, are known to cause issues with eyesight. Older people with learning disabilities may also experience age-related threats to eyesight. People with learning disabilities experience higher rates of diabetes, and with this can come with complications including sight problems. 

Many people with learning disabilities are missing out on eye care and some are tragically losing their sight because of this. In a recent study, by SeeAbility 50% of adults with learning disabilities had not had a sight test in the recommended period. 4 in 10 of children in special schools have never had a sight test.