Seven hundred primary aged children in Sydney’s south west have had their vision tested as part of the Eye Didn’t Know That! screening program initiated by Transitions Optical and Optometry Giving Sight.
The program was successfully piloted in South Australian primary schools in 2013.
A team of volunteers, optometrists and Optometry Giving Sight staff conducted the vision screenings at four primary schools in the Liverpool area and identified that 40 per cent of the 700 children screened required further assessment by a local optometrist.
Brian Spiller, the Eye Didn’t Know That! School Screenings Coordinator said the overwhelming enthusiasm from teachers, parents and children is spurring the program to visit more schools in New South Wales
in the coming months.
“The school communities recognised the need for such an important program and embraced it whole heartedly. Many children had never even had an eye exam before, and now they have the opportunity to gain free eye wear from their local optometrist should they need it.”
Optometrist Hana Melligi, who has participated in the program at several schools, said she believes the program will have a substantial impact on children’s learning.
“Kids aren’t necessarily aware when they have a vision problem. You can’t wait too long because this eye problem could have a significant impact on their lives – it impacts on schooling and behavioural issues.”
Mr. Spiller said the program particularly provides support to families that may not be able to afford eye care as “they can now gain access to this critical health service”.
The program is now accepting donations and anyone interested in participating can register their interest through the Optometry Giving Sight. Visit https://givingsight.myetap.org/fundraiser/edkt/ to donate and visit http://www.givingsight.org/get-involved/eye-didn-t-know-that.html
For more information please visit www.eyedidntknowthat.com.au