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Working Better by Working Together

See Ability logo

8 June 2023

In the last issue of Primary Eyecare InSight we announced that we have selected SeeAbility as our charity of the year for the next two years. One of the longest established registered charities in the country, SeeAbility sets out to tackle health inequalities in people with learning difficulties, autism and vision loss in three main ways:

  • Improving the lives of over 2000 children in special schools with specialist eye tests and supporting them with wearing and caring for their glasses
  • Championing the distribution of accurate, accessible advice and information via peer to peer education, providing a range of free downloadable resources and undertaking partnership-based bespoke training development and delivery
  • Enhancing the way our national eye care system works in England via lobbying to influence government policy

Our finance, policy and communications teams have now started to meet regularly to plan a series of joint fund-raising events and sponsorship activities for the rest of the year.

How We’re Getting Involved

With the support of our practitioner teams and their patients around the country, Primary Eyecare is looking forward to contributing to the success and wider impact of a number of SeeAbility’s current initiatives.

One of these key ongoing work programmes is Every Day in Focus. Launched three years ago, the campaign aims to help people with learning difficulties access good eye care when they need it. This is mainly achieved via an in-house team of ‘lived experience’ eye care champions who go out into communities to spread the word face to face. With their combined experience of working in eye care and living with learning disabilities, SeeAbility’s champions are ideally placed to work as advisers and advocates.

Two additional SeeAbility campaigns we will actively be supporting are:

Ready, Willing and Able

A supported employment programme that raises awareness about the many skills and talents that people with disabilities can contribute to the workforce. It is one of SeeAbility’s core beliefs that everyone should have the chance to fulfil their full potential in life and they are working hard to break down barriers such as negative attitudes and lack of accommodations on the part of employers to create a more supportive and inclusive workplace culture. On a practical level, Ready, Willing and Able has a dedicated team of digital volunteers who offer job application and interview coaching to provide all the necessary preparation and confidence building.

The Associates

People with disabilities want their voices to be heard loud and clear. Because SeeAbility’s Associates team all have lived experience of different disabilities they are ideally positioned to speak up about rights and disability issues. They call on companies, decision makers in government and society in general to help make inclusion a reality. They campaign about four key topics: accessibility, attitudes and awareness, social care and eye care. The team  speak up in many discussions and studies, and at events – making sure that people’s needs are included and not ignored in important national conversations.

When’s It All Starting?

Details about our first joint ventures with SeeAbility are due to be announced during Learning Disability Week 2023 which is running from 20 to 27 June. Look out for all the details then along with dates of forthcoming events and activities.

We will also let you know how you can get involved in supporting us to partner with the fantastic work that SeeAbility is doing on behalf of people with learning difficulties, autism and sight loss.