Vision screening services in special needs schools in Western Saudi Arabia

Mohammed R. Algethami, Lina H. Raffa, Rabaa H. Alhibshi, Maha Y. Baabdullah, Abdulrahman H. Alobudi


Objectives: To evaluate the current status of vision screening services in special educational needs (SEN) schools in the western region of Saudi Arabia. 


Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that involved distribution of a questionnaire to all 30 SENs schools in the western region of Saudi Arabia between April and May 2018.


Results: Twenty-three schools responded to the questionnaire (77% response rate). The number of pupils represented in the surveyed schools was 1831. On average, 10.8% of pupils were reported to wear eyeglasses. Approximately 60.9% of schools reported that vision screening was not offered at their schools. The percentage of students who used optical, non-optical, or high-technology low-vision aids was less than 2.7%. Most participants (78.3%) reported that no one in their schools had received some form of training to work with and support students with visual impairments.


Conclusion: In the western province of Saudi Arabia, the vision care status of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) in SEN schools is poor. To better serve this underprivileged group, the necessity of implementing vision screening programs on a larger scale should be considered.


Saudi Med J 2019; Vol. 40 (4): 385-390
doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.4.24076


How to cite this article:
Algethami MR, Raffa LH, Alhibshi RH, Baabdullah MY, Alobudi AH. Vision screening services in special needs schools in Western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J. 2019 Apr;40(4):385-390. doi: 10.15537/smj.2019.4.24076.


children; intellectual disability; Saudi Arabia; special needs school; vision screening

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