In-school vision assessments for children in special education: is there a benefit for parents?

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BackgroundA 2015 SeeAbility report1 estimates that children with special educational needs are 28x more likely to have a serious vision problem compared to typically developing children, yet over 40% of these children had never had their eyes tested. Little and Saunders2 found that even when eye care is accessed, there is often a failure to share information on visual status in an effective way with key stakeholders such as parents and schools.Full vision assessments were offered to all pupils attending Roddensvale Special School in Northern Ireland, UK. Following this, parents and teachers were provided with a jargon-free report highlighting the child’s visual strengths/limitations. The aim of this study was to evaluate parental opinion of in-school vision testing and reporting.MethodsParents of 29 children (aged 5-18 years) consented to in-school visual assessment. Reports describing the outcome of the assessment were sent to parents and teachers. Questionnaires were developed and sent to parents to gather their opinions regarding the vision assessment and value of the report.ResultsFifteen parental questionnaires were returned (52%). 86.6% of responding parents thought it was advantageous providing eye examinations in-school. Reasons included; familiar environment and elimination of long waiting times. Parents said that the report was easy/fairly easy to understand (91.6%), contained information that was useful on a day-to-day basis (66.7%) and in a third of cases revealed new information about vision. However, where home-related vision modifications were indicated, few parents had instigated these adaptations.ConclusionsParents found in-school vision assessments beneficial. Reports were helpful to better understand children’s needs. Further support may be required to help parents action environmental modifications in response to children’s visual limitations.Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank staff, parents and pupils
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-672
JournalChild Vision Research Society conference report
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Reference text: 1.SeeAbility (2015) Children in Focus Campaign, the Story so Far
2. Little, J.A. and Saunders, K.J. (2015) A lack of vision: evidence for poor communication of visual problems and support needs in education statements/plans for children with SEN. Public Health, 129(2), 143-148.


  • Vision
  • paediatric vision
  • special schools
  • vision testing
  • eye examination
  • in-school vision testing


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