Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired – Charleston (ABVI) is pleased to announce it has received a $5,000 grant from the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation to provide funding for a vision clinic at one Charleston County elementary school. These funds will support the continuation of ABVI’s "Focus on Children" program which provides free vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams, prescription glasses, referrals and eye care education to Charleston County students.
“We are excited to announce the Yaschik Foundation clinic will be held at Goodwin Elementary school in September 2018,” said Courtney Plotner, Chief Executive Officer for ABVI. “This is the second year the Yaschik Foundation has supported our Focus on Children program and we are grateful for their willingness to help us address the visual needs of Charleston County preschool students.”
Through Focus on Children, ABVI provides free comprehensive vision care, including prescription glasses and referrals to Charleston County students, mostly from Head Start and Child Development programs. Annually, the clinics serve over 1,500 students in 22 schools, 21 of which are Title I. A comprehensive eye exam for children not passing the initial screening is provided on site and, when indicated, ABVI provides free, prescription glasses and/or referrals to a doctor for follow-up care.
80% of a child’s learning is visual, which is why the Focus on Children program addresses vision impairments at such an early age. “If we screen a child in preschool and find a vision impairment, we can help the family address it before there is any permanent damage or major interruption to the child’s educational career,” said Plotner.
ABVI is currently looking for volunteers to support the Focus on Children clinics, which are being held August – October 2018. For more information about how you or your organization can help, contact Brooks Harken at [email protected].
About Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Charleston
The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired – Charleston’s mission is to empower individuals with blindness and visual impairment to lead safe, dignified, independent and rewarding lives and to prevent vision loss for adults in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties and children in Charleston County Title I schools. Founded in 1936, we have been serving the Tri-County area for over 80 years. We have three main programs supporting our mission: Focus on Adults, Focus on Children and Own Your Life. Focus on Adults and Focus on Children are preventative programs aimed at catching vision impairment in the early stages and restoring vision when possible. Own Your Life is geared towards helping our blind and visually impaired clients attain independence in their personal and professional lives. In addition, we provide guide dog scholarships for our clients as well as opportunities for social engagement.