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Monday / May 20.
HomeminewsOneSight Visits Fairvale Public School

OneSight Visits Fairvale Public School

Twenty-three per cent of almost 300 children screened by OneSight at Fairvale Public School in Fairfield, Western Sydney have been referred on for a comprehensive vision test and, judging by previous clinics, half of those are expected to require some form of vision correction, according to Peter Murphy, Director of Eye Care and Community at Luxottica.

mivision attended the clinic to gain an insight into OneSight’s vital school-based vision program and observe the screening process. The clinic was made up of volunteers from Luxottica’s Sunglass Hut (south and eastern Sydney) who took an annual leave day to help at the school.

The eye testing process was presented as fun and games and volunteers kept the mood light ensuring children weren’t overwhelmed.

The eye exam began with Ishihara colour charts, assisted by OneSight volunteers. Children were asked to trace numbers with their finger or a paintbrush. The tumbling E Chart came next. Children were asked to point the direction of the ‘E’. If the child passed both tests, the eye exam was completed. Otherwise, a third test enabled the optometrist to check for muscle abnormalities.

These schools often have a high refugee population and low socioeconomic demographics

Children flagged for ‘review’ needed a comprehensive optometric exam with their local OPSM optometrist. Their parents are followed up by their school and given a ‘vision voucher’ to take to any OPSM optometrist for a full vision test (if their parents didn’t have a Medicare card) and, if needed, free glasses.

“So far, OneSight has tested the eyes of 4,000 school children with the goal to test 10,000 by the end of the year,” said Mr. Murphy. He explained that schools visited by OneSight are determined by the Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) ranking from the MySchool website introduced by the Gillard government. Schools with rankings that fall below the benchmark of 1,000 at around 800, are those of interest. These schools often have a high refugee population and low socioeconomic demographics.

HELPING KIDS SEE AND CONNECT

Since 2012, OneSight has hosted an annual vision care clinic to provide eye exams and glasses to Bakersfield students in the US, serving more than 3,600 students over the course of five years. The evolution of this partnership has led to the creation of permanent school-based vision clinics that provide students with access to quality vision care.

The one-day clinics enable students to receive vision care during the school day, without requiring parents to leave work and potentially lose wages. The purpose is to help students see and connect in order to keep them in school and ready to learn.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT

Mr. Murphy said, “OneSight clinics are a great way for new optometrists to learn on the job and get experienced assistance from other optometrists visiting the clinic on the day.”

He said the relationship between child and optometrist is an important one to start early and one that OneSight hopes to foster.

ONESIGHT IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

OneSight is an independent not for profit providing access to quality vision care and glasses for school children across Australia and New Zealand.

Although OneSight exists on donations from individuals, business and government, its relationship with Luxottica is collaborative and necessary. As OPSM’s charity partner, providing eye care and eyewear for those who lack access, OneSight ensures its local schoolbased clinics have local impact.

Anthea Muir, President OPSM Australia and New Zealand said, “At OPSM we believe in quality eye care for all, not just those who can afford it. We are incredibly proud of our work with OneSight and our optometrists who continue to volunteer their time to improving sight amongst those in need.”

To find out more about OneSight’s one-day, school-based clinics go to: au.onesight.org