NYS Education Department Announces No-Cost Children’s Eyecare Resources

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ALBANY, N.Y.—The New York State Education Department, in partnership with the New York State Optometric Association, VSP Global and the New York State Society of Opticians has worked to provide access at no cost to exams and glasses to students at seven schools across New York as part of School Vision Health Month.

Research shows that one in four school-age children has a vision disorder, which impacts his or her ability to properly learn. In June 2017, the New York State Assembly and New York State Senate passed resolutions proclaiming October 2017 as School Vision Health Month to raise awareness about providing accessible visual care and resources to those who are in need.

NYSED coordinated the no-cost eye exams at the schools, where local optometrists, including VSP network doctors, will volunteer their time to provide eye exams using portable eye exam equipment donated by VSP Vision Care. VSP will donate eye glasses to each student who is diagnosed as needing glasses. Approximately, two weeks after the eye exam, local ophthalmic dispensers will volunteer their time at the schools delivering the selected frames and providing the necessary fittings for the children.

“Not being able to see the letters on a page can hinder students’ ability to learn,” state education commissioner MaryEllen Elia stated. “For some families in New York, eye exams and corrective eyewear is simply unaffordable. That is why we worked with the State Assembly and Senate to highlight this critical issue. We thank VSP and the licensed eyecare professionals who donated resources and time to make these free exams possible.”

Free eye exams will be provided to students at Wales Primary School (Oct. 4), Prospect Elementary School (Oct. 5), Seneca Intermediate School (Oct. 6), Minoa Elementary School (Oct. 10), Waverly Central School District (Oct. 11), Northern Adirondack Central School District (Oct. 13) and Fort Edward Union Free School District (Oct. 16).

“Having the ability to work with these schools directly shines a light on the importance of eye health for children,” said Kate Renwick-Espinosa, president of VSP Vision Care. “We’re honored to be able to expand access to comprehensive eye exams and glasses to communities in need and help foster that focus.”