Royal National Institute of Blind People

Vision Friends

The Vision Friends project is an early intervention and prevention model of delivery and learning that aims to pioneer how sight loss is detected and managed across the care sector. Additionally, the scheme looks to create transformational sector training that will include training modules, toolkits and resources developed to be E-Learning and video meeting-centred to increase accessibility.

According to a report, 40 percent of people in care services with learning disabilities will have some form of sight loss, whilst nearly all those with severe or profound learning disabilities have eye health needs. However, the signs can be masked by an individual’s learning disability or lack of verbal communication.

To ensure that no one slips through the cracks when it comes to sight loss support, RNIB will aim to educate Vision Friends with the confidence, knowledge and skills to recognise signs of sight loss in the people they’re caring for.

The project will be delivered in three phases:

  • Begin training of 40 Vision Friends.
  • Roll-out the Vision Friends model to other services training 110 additional staff across the Health and Social Care network.
  • Design and develop a Vision Friend network.
  • Organising a minimum of two Vision Friend network events.

In addition to the grant-funding from the CareTech Foundation, Vision Friends will benefit from the skills and expertise of staff from CareTech plc, a market-leading provider of specialist care for children and adults with complex needs. CareTech plc staff will, as part of the company’s employee volunteering programme, be directly involved in the development of the programme.