Sight loss charity SeeAbility has been given more than £308,000 by the Department of Health (DoH) to be used for its Children in Focus project.
Through the project, the charity will use the £308,976 grant to increase its sight testing work as it seeks to establish a robust eye care system for children with learning disabilities across England.
The money is part of a £9m fund that will be awarded to the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector by the DoH over the next three years. The grant was awarded to SeeAbility after it made a successful application to the Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund (IESD).
According to SeeAbility, research shows that children with learning disabilities are 28 times more likely to have a serious sight problem than other children. Piloting its Children in Focus project in six special schools across London, the charity reports that over half of the children it tested had a vision problem, and 43% had no history of previous eye care.
SeeAbility confirmed that it will now expand the project to a school in Durham.
Director of external affairs at SeeAbility, Paula Spinks-Chamberlain, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the grant that will help us deliver more specialist sight tests in more special schools around the country.
“Each specialist sight test we carry out costs over £85 and financial support like this enables us to reach more children.”