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VISION 2020 UK launches Starting Point – first steps for families of vision impaired children

Published: 12.10.2016

VISION 2020 UK, the umbrella organisation which leads collaboration in eye health and sight loss, has marked World Sight Day with a rollout of a national project, aimed at improving the information given to families at the point of diagnosis of their child’s vision impairment.

The diagnosis of a child’s vision impairment can turn a family’s world upside down. Dealing with the emotions and many questions posed by what the future may hold can be a difficult time.

The aim of Starting Point is to signpost families to resources and professionals that can help with the first steps in accepting their child’s diagnosis.

Starting Point can help by:

  • explaining a child’s sight condition and treatment
  • helping a family understand what their child can see
  • providing advice on their child’s development
  • putting them in touch with other parents
  • connecting a family to national and local support organisations including local authority vision impairment services
  • explaining medical jargon and the role of health and social care professionals who can provide support
  • giving emotional and practical support for the whole family
  • advising on how to look ahead, regarding early years, education and leisure activities

Frontline hospital eyecare professionals are best placed to inform a family of this project, at the initial diagnosis, and the emphasis is on the multi-disciplinary team approach.

Paediatric ophthalmologists, orthoptists and optometrists working in an NHS setting will be sent laminated posters for their waiting room and leaflets they can give to families to promote these services.

Leaflets direct parents to a web-based resource hub, where they can access trusted source information, and contact details for other supporting organisations.

The project has been initiated by VISION 2020 UK Children and Young People’s Committee, developed by professionals from clinical and blind charities backgrounds alongside parental consultation.

Notes to editors:  

For further information, please contact Niall Ryan, VISION 2020 UK Communications Officer: [email protected]

  • For more information on VISON 2020 UK, please visit:
  • VISION 2020 UK is the umbrella organisation which leads collaboration and co-operation between organisations with an interest in eye health and sight loss
  •  VISION 2020: The Right to Sight is an initiative led in partnership by the World Health Organization, and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, for the elimination of avoidable blindness.