Free Vision Screening for Children

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

Millions of children worldwide are affected by poor vision.
If left untreated, it can lead to behavioral problems and low self-esteem.
A program called "Impact Alabama" is working to provide free vision screenings for elementary school children.
“This is an annual thing we do for our children. It’s important kids have up to date vision screening so they can perform at best,” says Brenda Guilford, owner of Brenda’s Prepatory School.
Brenda's Prepatory School and First United Methodist Church get their students ready for vision screening.
Before testing, the group covers all windows and doors to block any outside light so the children's eyes can dilate faster.
“I have to get the room as dark as possible. The 1 and 2 year olds usually start crying and we have to calm the kids down,” said Malcolm Albin, Impact Alabama.
A photo optic camera uses NASA technology to test for any abnormalities.
“We can tell if they're near-sighted, far-sighted if they have a lazy eye or if they have a problem like cancer,” said Corrine Harris with Impact Alabama.
“We also provide follow-up care,” said Albin.
Students at Wallace Community College assist with children 6 months old and up.
“It provides basic educational needs.”
It takes 4-6 weeks to receive the results.
“Many people are unable to get these services,” said Guilford.
“It’s an important initiative because a lot of problems that kids have can be corrected at a young age.”
Organizers say only 21% of preschool children receive comprehensive vision care.

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