Nearly 10% of all preschool age children in Michigan have an undiagnosed vision disorder that, if left untreated, will affect their ability to learn and develop normally. Identified early enough, vision abnormalities can be treated, but if they go undetected, a child’s vision can deteriorate and vision loss can be irreversible.
Last year, the Youth Advisory Committee and The Dow Chemical Company Donor Advised Fund awarded a total of $11,500 to the Lions of Michigan Foundation for their KIDsight Mobile Vision Screening Unit to get more children tested and connected with the vision help they need.
Lions Club volunteers attend community events and connect with local childcare programs to use a special screening device that quickly and accurately detects vision problems. Because it is the size of a camera, many small children simply think they are getting their photo taken—an approach that keeps them more at ease.
Because of the sunlight sensitivity of the device, it must be used indoors. The mobile trailer allows the group to attend outdoor community events to conduct even more screenings.
In the past year, they have checked the vision of more than 14,000 children and identified 1,659 children with previously unknown vision problems.
“We are extremely grateful for the Bay Area Community Foundation’s support,” said Lions of Michigan Foundation Director Chad A. McCann. “We will be able to significantly increase our screenings in the Bay Area and help more children struggling with vision loss.”