Eye See…Eye Learn, a free program administered by the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) designed to detect, diagnose and treat children with vision problems, is available across the province of Ontario as of July 1, 2015.
Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care says, “Every year, thousands of Ontario children start school without ever having a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist. This is an important initiative that will help even more children have access to quality vision care, ensuring that they start off their first day of school with healthy vision, ready to learn.”
Through Eye See…Eye Learn, children starting Junior Kindergarten are eligible for one complimentary pair of glasses with their annual OHIP eye exam, if prescribed, through participating optometrists. Every child in Ontario who has a valid Ontario Health Card is entitled to an annual OHIP-insured eye exam by a Doctor of Optometry, up until age 19. The eyewear for the program is donated by Nikon Lenswear, OGI Eyewear and local optometrists.
“The integration of Eye See…Eye Learn across all of Ontario is a direct result of the program’s early success,” said Dr. Jeff Goodhew, President, Ontario Association of Optometrists. “While children rarely complain about vision problems, or are even aware of them, statistics show the strong correlation between vision and learning. It is imperative that children have their eyes checked by a Doctor of Optometry to catch vision limitations early on to ensure that they have the best chance to succeed in school and in life.”
An untreated eye issue can greatly impede a child’s ability to learn, play, and even socialize. Studies show that difficulty learning is often connected to a correctable vision problem – nearly 1 in 4 children have a vision problem, many of which are mislabeled as having a learning disability.
“The research is clear that early intervention with academic difficulties leads to greater success,” said Bruce Rodrigues, CEO, Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). “At times, the cause of a child’s learning difficulty is their inability to see well. Eye See…Eye Learn supports early intervention in eliminating any vision issues that may contribute to academic inconsistencies in a child’s performance.”
Eye See…Eye Learn is funded in part by the Government of Ontario and administered by the Ontario Association of Optometrists, in conjunction with more than 40 school boards, community and industry partners. Further information is available at www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca.