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Vision care programme for children and young people in Special Schools in Wales Nathan Davies With thanks to the Welsh Government, Dr Barbara Ryan, Nicola.

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Presentation on theme: "Vision care programme for children and young people in Special Schools in Wales Nathan Davies With thanks to the Welsh Government, Dr Barbara Ryan, Nicola."— Presentation transcript:

1 Vision care programme for children and young people in Special Schools in Wales Nathan Davies With thanks to the Welsh Government, Dr Barbara Ryan, Nicola Crews and Dr Maggie Woodhouse

2 Structure of presentation Background to vision care programme Aims of vision care programme Piloting the vision care programme Main challenges and solutions Summary and conclusion

3 Background to vision care programme Funded by Welsh Government Collaborative project 2008/09: 44 Maintained Special Schools 4115 pupils (4059 f/t, 56 p/t) 70% (n=2882) of pupils male 12 (0.3%) of the 3974 pupils in Special Schools with a Statement had visual impairment identified as their major need (StatsWales)

4 Literature review Literature suggests increased prevalence of refractive error and visual impairment, e.g. –97 out of 923 (10.5%) children with learning disabilities were found to have visual impairment (Nielson, Skov et al. 2007a) –A study involving 719 children with learning disabilities, aged 4 to 15, found significant refractive error in 44.8% (Nielsen, Jensen at al. 2008)

5 Postal survey Sent to all 44 Maintained Special Schools Follow-up carried out QTVI support Response rate of 88.6% (n=39)

6 Vision screening 47.4% (n=18) of schools reported that vision screening did not take place 23 out of 24 schools (95.8%) reported that it would be useful for routine vision screening to take place The survey results and a literature review provided the impetus for the vision care programme

7 Aims of vision care programme To determine the prevalence of visual impairment and uncorrected refractive error among pupils in Special Schools. To determine the effectiveness of assessing the vision and eye health of pupils in Special Schools. To ensure that every pupil in a Special School receives appropriate and timely vision and eye care and, if required, receives support from other relevant services.

8 Piloting the vision care programme Three generic Special Schools and one specialist resource centre invited to pilot the project Approximately 300 pupils All reported that vision screening did not take place Pan-Wales

9 Obtaining consent for pupil participation Worked with schools to send home information packs about the project, including consent form, to every 'parent' Consent form for children and young people included Invited parents to indicate how they would like glasses dispensed if needed

10 Optometric eye health check/ visual assessment Carried out in school by the two project optometrists Eye drops administered if needed Staff from school invited to attend assessment Parents invited to attend

11 Referrals If we find that a child or young person has an eye condition or sight problem that needs treatment, we will refer them to ophthalmology/ orthoptics. We will also refer pupils to education support services if needed.

12 Main challenges and solutions Missing information on consent forms –Developed additional form to collect missing information –Schools contacted 'parents' for missing information Ensuring that assessment timetables are convenient for school, pupils and parents –Worked closely with school staff and parents

13 Summary and conclusion Pilot phase continuing in Autumn Term 2011 Aim to have an evidence-base to inform future provision of eye care services for all children and young people in Special Schools

14 Contact details Nathan Davies Children's Low Vision Advocate for Wales Phone:


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