Parents and teachers of children in special education settings value in-school eyecare and written reports of visual status

Emma McConnell, Shelley Black, Julie McClelland, Lynne McKerr, Karola Dillenburger, Pamela Anketell, A. Jonathan Jackson, Julie-Anne Little, Kathryn J Saunders

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Abstract

Objectives
To evaluate parent and teacher opinion of the provision of in-school eyecare and jargon-free written reporting of visual status for children in special educational settings.

Participants and methods
A nationally-agreed, in-school eyecare framework for children attending special schools which recommends a full eye examination, dispensing of spectacles and provision of a jargon-free written report of visual outcomes to parents and teachers, was provided to 200 children (mean age 10 years, 9 months; 70% male) attending a special school in the UK. The written ‘Vision Report’ detailed, in lay-language, results from the eye examination and provided practical advice to alleviate the impact of vision difficulties both at home and in the classroom. Following implementation of the framework, parents and teachers completed a feedback questionnaire to determine their opinion of the in-school eye examination and utility of the Vision Report.

Results
Parents of 123 participants returned a feedback questionnaire. Eighty-eight participants were represented by the 23 teachers who returned a questionnaire. The in-school eyecare was rated positively for children in special education by 82.4% of parents and 80.9% of teachers. Key benefits included the familiarity of the in-school setting (81.3% of parents and 100% of teachers agree), the convenience of the setting for parents (74.0% of parents and 100% of teachers agree), and the opportunity for teachers to speak directly to eyecare providers regarding a child’s visual needs (82.6% of teachers agree). The information provided by the Vision Report was deemed useful day-to-day by 78.3% of parents and 100% of teachers. The majority (80%) of teachers implemented classroom modifications suggested in the report, whereas only 47.9% of parents reported implementation of modifications at home.

Conclusions
Provision of in-school eyecare is valued by parents and teachers of children in special education settings. Jargon-free, written reports of visual status are valued and utilised by parents and teachers. Further support is required to aid parents in implementing vision modifications at home.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0238779
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Early online date11 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Sep 2020

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