Eye Exams on WheelsProject led by Vision To Learn, Ohio Optometric Foundation & Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
About this project.
In the communities of Appalachian Ohio, many children don’t have access to the vision exams and glasses they need. That’s why FAO partnered with Vision To Learn and the Ohio Optometric Foundation to launch the iSEE with Vision To Learn program to bring a mobile clinic to students across the region, providing eye exams and access to glasses directly to locations where children spend the most time: schools and community organizations.
Increasing access to eye care in Appalachian Ohio is vital to ensuring that our children have all the tools they need to succeed. Children with undiagnosed vision disorders may have more trouble learning and focusing, and are at risk for developing other related challenges, including headaches or behavioral issues. This creates an unnecessary obstacle for the children of Appalachian Ohio to make the highest use of educational opportunities and realize their full potential.
Since launching in Fall 2021, the program has supported school districts to support vision screenings, provide vision exams, and get kids glasses, serving over 600 students to date.
This program will allow thousands of Appalachian Ohio’s children currently going without vision care to get the glasses they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond. Going forward, through a partnership with the Ohio Optometric Foundation, we are developing a continuum of care for the children of Appalachia that will last.
FAO staff comments.
Optometry is a specialty that is lacking across many of Appalachian Ohio’s communities, and where quality care exists, many children in the surrounding communities still lack the financial resources needed to access that care.
We at FAO were first exposed to this challenge a number of years ago, when we supported the Harrison County Lions Club with a grant to identify children in need of vision care. The grant helped the Lions Club more accurately identify which children were in need of glasses and follow-up care, but a big challenge remained: ensuring that all children in need of follow-up care actually received it. This experience prompted FAO to begin preliminary research into children’s vision needs in Appalachian Ohio. Through that research, as well as through discussions with school nurses, we found that access to vision care presented a serious challenge across the region.
With your support we will finally be able to offer a mobile vision unit to meet this critical need across our communities.
Make a donation.
To make an online donation to this project, please use the form below. For larger gifts or to donate in other ways (e.g. stock transfer, IRA transfer, or a gift through a donor advised fund), please visit appalachianohio.org/create/ways-to-give.
Half of your gift will support FAO's partnership with Vision to Learn today, and half will support similar projects through the I’m a Child of Appalachia Fund in the future.