- In the United States, 2 million children suffer from uncorrected refractive errors every year; yet in-school vision screening is largely nonexistent in underserved communities, leaving countless cases of refractive error undiagnosed and its sufferers unable to achieve their academic potential.
- Without eyeglasses, children with refractive error struggle in school, unable to clearly focus on the chalkboard, their textbooks, or on classroom presentations. Poor vision may even lead a child to drop out of school as a result of chronically poor academic performance.
What HKI Is Doing
Helen Keller International began ChildSight®, its domestic initiative, as a pilot program in New York City in 1994. The vision correction program "brings education into focus™" by providing free, on-site vision screenings, prescription eyeglasses, and referrals for further care (as needed) for children living in poverty in the United States.
- Since its inception, ChildSight® has screened over 1.5 million students in the U.S. and has provided free eyeglasses to over 206,000 of the nation's most vulnerable children.
- ChildSight® serves children in six states: California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Ohio.
- The annual surveys that ChildSight® conducts reveal that 80% of students who participate in the project across the country said that their ChildSight® eyeglasses "helped them with their schoolwork." 85% of teachers surveyed reported significant improvements in class participation and grades among students who had their vision corrected with ChildSight® eyeglasses.
ChildSight® has partnered with several companies in the effort to provide more eyeglasses to students in all of our locations. We are grateful for the support of these wonderful partners for children’s vision health:
Please click here for a detailed description (PDF) of the ChildSight® program.