Back-to-School Must Include a Renewed Focus on Children’s Vision
Vision Impact Institute encourages legislators and parents to continue to prioritize good vision for children amid changes to education due to Covid-19.
Dallas, Texas – August 13, 2020 – This school year is shaping up to be anything but normal with remote, in-school, and hybrid learning. In light of these changes, the Vision Impact Institute (VII) encourages legislators and parents to continue to prioritize children’s vision.
The combination of online learning, reduced face-to-face time with teachers, and limited access to school vision screenings is likely to impact children’s vision and their academic performance. Up to 80% of all learning occurs visually, leaving kids with poor vision at a disadvantage. In the U.S., more than 12.1 million school-age children have some form of vision problem at risk of hindering their education.
“In many states including Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, parents and legislators have dedicated significant time to ensure that school-age children’s vision is tested through a comprehensive eye exam,” says Kristan Gross, Executive Director, Vision Impact Institute. “We’re encouraged by the level of commitment made on behalf of our children, even in these times of disruption. In 2020 we will continue to prioritize good vision by advocating with policymakers for better state legislation through our Kids See: Success initiative.”
Vision requirements for school-age children differ across the U.S. Most states have a vision-screening program in some grade levels. This is a good start, but it is not enough to detect all vision problems. Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Wisconsin have an expanded children’s vision legislation that ensures vision care and access for all children.
“We must continue to sustain the gains we’ve made by ensuring all children can see well,” says Gross. “These services are an investment today in a society that will need productive citizens to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.”