The program reduces barriers to accessing eye care by providing complimentary glasses along with the OHIP-insured eye exam.
• The ESEL eye exam was the first eye exam of 65 per cent of junior kindergarten ESEL participants children.
• On average, 10 per cent of children who receive their first eye exam through ESEL are prescribed glasses.
• 56 per cent of children reported to have participated in the program have been diagnosed with at least one eye health abnormality.
Out of the total children receiving ESEL eye exams, the following eye health issues were found:
• Farsightedness (44%)
• Astigmatism (45%)
• Lazy eye, also known as Amblyopia (7%)
• Nearsightedness (4%)
• Crossed eyes, also known as strabismus (4%)
• Other eye health problem (3%)
Here’s what others are saying about Eye See…Eye Learn®
“We’re excited to be part of this valuable initiative to identify vision concerns among students at an early age in order to prevent learning challenges later in life. The Eye See…Eye Learn program is a great complement to the Thames Valley school board’s other early intervention programs and strategies.”
- Laura Elliott, Executive Superintendent of Program Services, Thames Valley District School Board
“At the London District Catholic School Board we are committed to ensuring that every one of our students has the ability to learn, grow and succeed; and good vision is a key component. We are pleased to be partnering with the Ontario Association of Optometrists to bring this important service to our families to help our students thrive academically.”
- Sharon Wright-Evans, Superintendent of Education, London District Catholic School Board
«Le Conseil scolaire Viamonde se réjouit de l’élargissement du programme Eye See...Eye Learn aux régions de London, Sarnia et du Niagara. Cette initiative permettra à davantage de jeunes élèves dans nos classes de maternelle d’avoir accès à un examen de la vue et une paire de lunettes, au besoin. Le programme Eye See...Eye Learn contribue à outiller les élèves pour la réussite en leur permettant d’entreprendre le début du cheminement scolaire du bon pied. »
- Gyslaine Hunter-Perreault, Directrice de l’éducation, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde
“Grounded in the principles of early intervention and prevention, Eye See...Eye Learn continues to have a significant impact on our youngest students as they embark upon a journey of life-long learning.”
- Dean Younger Early Years Consultant, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
"My son was 4 ½ when his JK Teacher suggested he see an eye doctor about a turned eye. We hadn’t noticed it at home as he had already started his head tilt accommodation and we were so oblivious to it, we believed it was a personality trait. Fast forward to Grade 1 ,Joshua has now perfected the “sweet spot” head tilt and self limits his exposure to irritating visual distractions. His Grade 1 teacher quickly notices a struggle for him with close reading and any kind of visual task. His writing is suffering because he must pull his head back and to the side to try to learn which she notes is very difficult when you are asking a child to write straight. I booked an Optometrist appointment for the next month and in a secondary meeting with the Teacher, she suggested I speed it up.
At the optometrist, for the first time, we could see the physical pain on his face when had to try to read and see objects, focus. It was truly gut wrenching. The optometrist, through a series of tests and observations has been able to conclude he has an overactive muscle that makes one eye gravitate up, he compensates as best he can, but he still does have double vision and difficult with any tracking or peripheral sight etc.
We are now in the system, waiting for an appointment at the Children’s Hospital for another appointment with an Ophthalmologist and surgery options. His grades are suffering, his self-esteem is suffering and we hope that over time we can help him overcome these challenges.
I understand how – this child of mine can sit through a 1 hour sermon at the church, but will squirm and squirm in Sunday School during craft time but it is difficult to convey. I have tried to express this as “proof” that the vision affects his ability to concentrate, but it is still such an unrecognized issue and the attention you will bring through your campaign, I hope will save many. It has been so easy for all of us to think he is just not trying hard enough, so I hope your campaign will bring access and attention this subject needs."
- Ottawa-Area Parent
"I learned of the ESEL program through Twitter – took my JKer in for a checkup and sure enough he needed glasses! We do not have vision coverage so this would have been a very expensive purchase. What we thought was just a disinterest in “book work”, reading, or anything fine motor was more likely due to vision problems. We are so thankful for this program – without it, we would have waited another couple of years to get his eyes checked!"
- Mrs Thorpe, Halton
Allied Health Professionals
“Ensuring a young child has good vision when starting school is critical to their overall ability to learn and to reach their full potential. That's why the new Eye See...Eye Learn program by the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) is such an important program.
A child's vision is about more than just being able to read the blackboard, or to clearly see pictures and words in a book. It also can affect a child's social interactions, his/her behaviour, and hand-eye coordination during physical activities. I am pleased the OAO has made this program accessible to families in Halton.”
- Dr. Bob Nosal, Halton Medical Officer of Health
“Thank you Eye See…Eye Learn for spreading the word about the importance of having your child's eye examined at six months of age, at three years of age and then on an annual basis or as recommended by your optometrist. In the Central South Blind Low Vision Early Intervention Program we see directly the importance of early identification as we work with children who have vision needs and their families. The importance of “Don't Wait and See” is critical as often there are no signs that a child has a vision problem. Early identification means early treatment and vision is vital to overall child development as so much of our learning is done through our eyes.”
- Ruth Doherty, Central South Blind-Low Vision Intervention Program
- Lynn Beath, CEO, Oxford County Public Health
“Oxford County Public Health has a long history of working with families to address health concerns in preschoolers early, before they interfere with learning. This initiative will help children start school in the best possible health, and ensure that there are not financial barriers to accessing vision care for kids.”