This guide seeks to address two important questions facing all eye care personnel, namely:
How to make eye care services accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. People with disabilities make up 20% of the world’s poorest people. Eye care providers need to make sure that their services are inclusive and accessible to persons with sensory, physical and intellectual impairments, as well as those with mental health conditions.
How to assist people with permanent vision loss whose sight cannot be restored. At least 20% of people who are blind or have severe vision loss cannot have their sight restored. It is important that eye care personnel know how to assist people with vision loss, and how to enable them to receive appropriate mobility, living skills, education, rehabilitation and livelihood opportunities. It is our pleasure to congratulate the authors and supporting organisations on the production of this practical and important guide. We hope that its principles of disability inclusion will be widely adopted and applied.
The Guide outlines strategies and approaches proposed by WHO that provide practical, step-by-step support to Member States in the planning and implementation of integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC).