June 2024

The National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness logo

Happy June. It’s that time again! We are seeking nominations for our prestigious Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award. This award highlights the awesome work YOU are doing to improve children’s vision and eye health across the U.S. See below for more information and to download a nomination form.

Prevent Blindness is also pleased to announce the introduction of H.R. 8400 - The Early Detection of Vision Impairments for Children Act in the U.S. Congress. Learn more below and here.

2024 Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award: Nominate a Children’s Vision Screening Champion!

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health announces that nominations are now open for the 2024 Bonnie Strickland Champion for Children’s Vision Award. Nominations for individuals and groups will be accepted and are due on July 1, 2023. We encourage you to nominate a colleague.

The Award recognizes significant efforts by an individual or group of individuals to improve public health approaches for children’s vision and eye health at the state or national level. Approaches must be replicable and create sustainable change.

Nominees should demonstrate an impact in one or more areas of a public health system supporting children’s vision, including:

  • Key stakeholder engagement or collaboration, including representation from families and diverse racial/ethnic/geographic and socioeconomic levels from target populations
  • Training and education
  • Public awareness
  • Provision of resources and/or services
  • Surveillance and accountability
  • Reduction of health inequities
  • Vision and eye health infrastructure development- local, state, or national level
  • Making the connection between vision and overall health, early childhood development, and learning

The Award will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health on September 12, 2024. 

Learn More

The Early Detection of Vision Impairments for Children (EDVI) Act Introduced in Congress

logo: early detection of vision impairments for children act

The Early Detection of Vision Impairments for Children Act of 2024 (EDVI Act) is landmark, bipartisan legislation that seeks to establish the first federal program that will specifically address children's vision and eye health. Passing this important legislation would indicate Congress’s commitment to protecting the eyesight of our nation’s children and preventing avoidable vision loss and blindness in children.


Despite the presence of numerous public health programs that support early childhood development, including children’s hearing and oral health, there is currently no established national-level program in the United States that specifically addresses children’s vision or that fosters a cohesive and equitable system of eye health for children. State laws to address children’s vision vary widely in approaches and often lack protocols for referrals to eye care providers and documentation to ensure eye care was received. States may also lack the necessary resources to adequately capture data on rates of received eye care, leading to challenges in addressing existing disparities among demographic sub-populations or in rural or under-resourced communities. 

The goal of the EDVI Act is:

  • To ensure that every child with a possible vision problem is identified and connected to appropriate eye care,
  • To support early childhood professionals, health care providers, public health professionals, and families with updated and evidence-based vision screening methods and established referrals to care, and
  • To advance follow-up protocols to ensure that children who need eye care treatment receive it before a vision problem leads to potential vision loss.

Check out this video by one of the EDVI Act co-sponsors, Congressman Marc Veasey from Texas.

Take Action to Support the EDVI Act

Contact Congress
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If you missed our webinar, "Pathway to Diagnosis: Genetic Testing for Inherited Retinal Diseases,” you can watch it online. This informative webinar covered when and how children may receive genetic testing; benefits of receiving results for diagnosis, registries, clinical trials, and treatments; strategies for providing information and support to families and children; and patient testimonials about their IRD journeys. Contact us if you’d like a Certificate of Attendance.

New Prevent Blindness Campaign: It Started With an Eye Exam

It Started with an Eye Exam - Tasha's Story

Sponsored by Viatris, maker of post-dilation eyedrops, the “It Started With an Eye Exam” campaign asks people to share their stories of how eye care has made a positive impact on their lives!

You can share your story on your social media channels with #ItStartedWithanEyeExam. Find out more about taking care of your eyes or submit your story on our webpage at: PreventBlindness.org/getting-professional-eye-care.

Start the School Year with New Skills in Evidence-Based Vision Screening

The Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Certification Course has helped to ensure standardized and evidence-based screening for hundreds of thousands of children across the United States. Why is this training important?

Unless vision screeners are trained and certified in a standardized approach that promotes evidence-based protocols, children and students may participate in vision screening with different tools and procedures depending on where they reside or which programs and schools they attend. This varied approach leads to potential under-referrals and inconsistencies that can drive inequalities in children’s vision, eye care, and eye health in the United States.

To help ensure a consistent and standardized approach, the course provides training and national certification in evidence-based children's vision screening protocols and techniques. The course also highlights ways to help decrease the gap between vision screening referrals and confirmatory eye examinations. In addition to online lessons, the course provides individualized virtual skills mentoring sessions using the teach-back methodology to ensure screeners use tools correctly and are comfortable with how they screen vision and follow up with families. This national certification is valid for 3 years.

Find out More

New Vision Screening Resources from the Office of Head Start

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness partnered with the National Center for Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety, part of the Office of Head Start, to create new resources about vision screening and referrals to eye care.

Find the resources at:

Vision Screening for Young Children

Optotype-based Vision Screenings

Vision Screening Referrals

How to Take Eye Drop Medications

Many of our resources are specific to certain diseases or populations, but almost everyone has a need to take eye drops at some point. But if not taken properly, too little (or too much) medication may enter the body, the eye may experience abrasions or irritations, or other unfortunate results may occur. Check out our new resources, including a terrific video and fact sheet, to ensure everyone takes their eye drops safely.

Learn More

Cerebral/Cortical Visual Impairment

Prevent Blindness has published a new article on Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), including common symptoms and questions for your child's eye doctor. Our friends at the Perkins School for the Blind note that CVI is the leading cause of childhood blindness and low vision, yet it is alarmingly underdiagnosed. Less than 20% of children with CVI have been diagnosed. CVI is a brain-based visual impairment caused by damage to the visual pathways or visual processing areas of the brain. Often, we think about low vision and blindness as caused by something happening with the eyes. With CVI it’s all about the brain, and it often co-occurs with other neurological, neurodevelopmental, and genetic conditions.

Learn more about when to suspect CVI at CVINow.org and download the “When to suspect CVI” information in English or Spanish. 

Join Us!

Being Seen and Heard: The 2024 Focus on Eye Health Summit

Prevent Blindness will host the 13th annual Focus on Eye Health Summit on July 10-11, 2024, as a FREE virtual interactive event. This year’s theme – “Being Seen and Heard” – emphasizes the importance of a person-centered approach to vision health interventions, research, communications, and care.


DAY 1:

  • Keynote Presentation: The Patient Voice & Reaction Panel 
  • Vision Research and the Citizen Scientist
  • Presentation of the 2024 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health
  • Seeing and Hearing Children's Vision Needs
  • Presentation of the 2024 Rising Visionary Award

DAY 2:

  • Keynote Fireside Chat: The Human Side of AI in Healthcare
  • The Many Eyes in Artificial Intelligence
  • Visible Voices: Vignettes of Being Seen and Heard
Register Today!

Give Help and Hope

Help us celebrate 15 years of providing you guidance to care for children's vision and eye health and make your gift today!

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