Identifying the Problem
In 2013 Youth Eyecare Services Inc. (Y,E.S.) began its Vision and Literacy Initiative, a program that developed and provided procedures to identify and ensure the referral of participants whose vision screening results indicated the possibility of vision or eye health problems.
A vision screening is a short examination that can indicate the presence of a vision problem or a potential vision problem. A vision screening cannot diagnose exactly what is wrong, but it can indicate that an appointment with an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a more comprehensive eye examination may be needed.
Our vision screenings are performed by a licensed optician, assisted by volunteers at each screening. Y.E.S. will provide fitted reading glasses and frames. Persons present for vision screenings that are determined to need further care are referred for full exams and specialty services to one of our partners or a member of our network of private medical practitioners.
The primary target of the Vision and Literacy Initiative’s services are Children of Our Heroes, veterans and their family members.
After identification, and when needed, the program participants will be referred for further medical evaluation in collaboration with local eye care professionals and from our ophthalmological professional organization partners.
Vision and Literacy Defined
Turning Diagnosis into Treatment: More Than A Parental Task
Rochelle Mozlin, Associate Clinical Professor of Optometry at the State University of New York, spoke about her research on adolescents at risk for dropping out who had vision problems has shown that the difficulties in turning diagnosis into treatment can be significantly decreased if the level of parental and family involvement is established before the testing occurred. Communication with parents outlining measures and steps that will be taken to diagnose and follow up their children’s eye exams should be initiated before, during and after the screenings.
What We Will Provide
- Screening Set Up Procedures
- Scheduling Screenings
- Contacting Screening Site: School, Church, Business
- Planning Meeting
- Vision Screening Coordinator: Duties
- Vision Screening Checklist
- Prescreening Activities
- Notification letter to parents
- Screening Activities
- Collection of Data
- Dissemination of Information to School
- Dissemination of Information to Sponsor
- Record Keeping
- Referral Procedures
- Referral to an Eye Specialist Eye Examination
- Follow-up to the Eye Specialist Referral
- Referral/Follow-up Professional: Responsibilities
Notification Letter to Participants:
- Prior to the screening date send out an informational letter with the details of the screening event including date, time, location and what to expect plus a copy of the parent version of the child vision questionnaire for parents to fill out and return to school.
- Advise them there will be a second screening for children who have difficulty with any part of the first screening.
- If after the second screening a child continues to be unable to meet passing criteria, parents will be notified with a referral and strongly encouraged to bring their child in for further evaluation by an eye professional.
- Any parent/guardian who does not want their child screened should be advised as to the importance of the screening but when desired, the procedure they should follow so that their child will be excluded from the screening.
Designation of a Vision Screening Coordinator
- Attend training on vision and literacy training.
- Serve as primary person responsible for the smooth operation of the screening.
- Recruit, schedule and orient volunteers.
- Train volunteers using resources available from Y.E.S.
- Assign volunteer tasks. It is best to make a volunteer an expert at one area instead of rotating that volunteer to different screening stations.
- Provide on-site supervision.
- Arrange for and maintain needed equipment and supplies.
- Carry out or designate a person(s) to work in collaboration with the referral professional and be responsible for sending out referral letters, follow-up and record keeping.
Prescreening Activities (2 weeks prior to the intended screening date)
- Determine the number of children to be screened and their ages or grade level
- Determine the number of staff needed to provide mass screening
- Recruit volunteers and schedule dates and times for volunteer training and orientation, and the screening and re-screening sessions.
- Screening facilities should be examined and reserved for the screening dates.
- Copies should be made of the vision screening worksheet and distributed to classroom teachers and parents to be filled out with the child’s name/age/grade and comments, if any
- Copies should be made of the referral and follow-up letters
- Determine the amount and type of the equipment needed and that it is in working order
The testing situation for children in this age category will likely differ greatly from Mass screenings commonly used in the preschool and school-age years. The following referral procedures may be used in a vision-screening program for infants and toddlers if face-to-face or other more personal interactions, between the screener and the parent or caregiver are not available. A copy of each of the letters and forms referred to will be found in Appendix B.
- Notify parents/guardian of the need for a professional eye examination by mailing a completed referral letter.
- Enclose with the parent notification copies of the Eye Examination Report and the Vision Referral Follow-up form.
- Parents/guardian should mark and complete the Vision Referral form and return it to the vision screener. The screener acts on parent/guardian’s response as appropriate.
- The eye specialist will complete the Eye Examination Report and return it to the vision screener.
- The vision screener records the results of the eye examination and notifies others as appropriate.
Referral/Follow-up Professional: Responsibilities
- Determine which children need further professional evaluation based on Y.E.S. criteria.
- Contact parents or guardian if follow-up information about the referral is not received and explain the screening results as needed.
- Communicate with appropriate staff regarding referrals and follow-up information.
- Monitor child’s vision and treatment as appropriate.
- Maintain screening and follow-up information on the child’s health record.
- Evaluate the screening program.
Performed by Optometrist
A primary care eye examination (which is different in several important ways from a low vision examination), generally lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, and is performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It should include the following components:
- A dilated internal examination. Special eye drops will dilate, or open, your pupil, which allows the doctor to observe the inner parts of your eye, such as the retina and optic nerve.
- A test of the fluid pressure within your eyes.
Vision and Literacy Initiative Services
Expanded Core Curriculum
The expanded core curriculum is a set of skill areas developed to augment the traditional core curriculum. The expanded core curriculum includes areas of instruction specific to students with visual impairments. Intervention from a teacher for students with visual impairments is necessary to provide direct instruction in the expanded core. These areas are:
Compensatory or functional academic skills development
Our children with a visual impairment must acquire skills needed to help them successfully access the regular curriculum. These skills include study and organizational skills, spatial understanding, and any adaptation of the existing curriculum. Our initiative will provide training to key community stake holders in a structured program that will allow the development of these essential skills.
Orientation and mobility
skills involved in independent travel and the concepts that underlie spatial reasoning and navigation.
Social interaction skills
acquisition of the subtle modes of interaction that people develop by watching, imitating, and reacting to each other.
Independent living skills
can include cooking, personal hygiene, money management, time monitoring, and organization. These are often skill areas that children with visual impairments do not develop because they do not observe them in others, and they are often not explicitly taught.
Recreation and leisure skills
while physical fitness is generally addressed in the regular curriculum, activities that can be used to actively fill leisure time are often not addressed. Without direction instruction, it is not likely that a child will be exposed to the range of activities possible.
as in many of the other areas listed, children with visual impairments are often not exposed to a large variety of career options. This is both because of a lack of prior visual experiences and because of a perception that the range of options is severely limited for children with visual impairments. Unemployment and underemployment is one of the biggest problems facing adults with visual impairments in today’s society.
technology can be a great tool for providing access to information for people with visual impairments. Whether it is through speech, braille, or large print output, the use of technology gives a person with a visual impairment access to information at approximately the same time as a person who is sighted.
ALL veteran’s children and family members are welcome at 1st Veterans Kids Care, Inc. regardless of their length of the veteran’s service or military discharge status.
1st Veterans Kids Care understands the many challenges veterans and their families face while transitioning from a military to civilian community. Our program was designed as a gateway for stability so veteran families can remain strong, stable and secure in life outside of the military
WHO CAN APPLY?
Children of veterans, veterans and family members who are guardians of children of veterans.
WHAT DO WE LOOK FOR?
The committee will consider several factors when selecting a family to including: