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WHAT IS VISION SCREENING?

Vision Screening, as offered by the South Tucson Lions, is a public health service performed by qualified volunteers, in compliance with SB 1456, using approved equipment and procedures, designed to identify those children with risk factors which need to be examined by a doctor.  It is not meant to test a child’s vision, diagnose eye problems or create prescriptions.  Only doctors can perform these functions.  The results of our screening is a simple pass/refer, and if referred, we recommend that the child be given a complete eye exam by an eye care professional.  Our screening fulfills the new State of Arizona requirements under SB 1456 for vision screening in schools for acuity, depth and color, but is not meant to exclude the involvement of the school health personnel, who will determine the course of action to be followed after the screening.  (We have been informed that AHSD will be preparing new procedures in 2020 for vision screening in schools.)  In the past four years we have screened over 120,000 children in over 125 schools in Southern Arizona.  If we screen a child who we recommend seek an eye exam from a health care professional, and the child has no ability to pay for this exam and glasses, we will cover that cost, on a best efforts basis.  

We work for and under the supervision of the school health personnel to perform vision screenings in Pima County Schools, preschools and daycares, free of charge.  We can screen any child from 6 months to 18 years of age using a portable auto refractor, which looks and operates like a camera, completing a non-invasive screening in a few seconds while seated three feet from the child.  We also include color screening for the required age groups.  We do not screen adults as our devices do not screen for age related vision issues.  Please see the contact page to schedule a screening, which is subject to availability.

Our screeners are State of Arizona Certified and Lions KidSight Certified using approved devices and procedures that will check for the below issues and produce a refer if the results are outside of parameters.

 

Our screening devices identify risk factors for the following childhood vision issues. 

ANISOMETROPIA (Unequal focus).  

ASTIGMATISM (Curved focus). 

HYPEROPIA (Farsightedness). 

MYOPIA (Nearsightedness). 

CORNEAL REFLEXES (Alignment of the two eyes). 

ANISOCORIA (Unequal pupil size). 

STRABISMUS (Crossed or wall-eyes). 

AMBLYOPIA (Lazy Eye). 

 

FREE EXAMS AND GLASSES

We will work with those schools that we screen to insure that no child that we refer will go without an exam by an optometrist, and glasses if recommended.  If the child's family cannot afford to pay and does not have their own insurance, and the child is not eligible for AHCCCS/IHS or AHCCCS/IHS will not cover it for what ever reason, we will work with the school nurse/health clerk to insure that the child receives an exam and glasses for free.

*VISION SCREENING ADULTS 

While adults can be screened using a portable autorefractor, it should be emphasized that this does not replace an eye exam and it will not detect presbyopia, or other age related eye issues, such as cataracts, macular degneration and diabetic retinopathy.  It is recommended that adults have regular eye exams by an optometrist or ophthalmologist and anyone age 50 and over have an annual eye exam. 

 

VISION SCREENING IN A PRESCHOOL

 

 

PROCEDURES DURING COVID

MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED OF ALL VOLUNTEERS

Each school must clarify their protocols prior to scheduling screening as it will impact how many volunteers we will require and how many children we are able to screen.

We require a large open space where children can line up and where we can control the light.  The stage in the auditorium or the cafeteria are good locations.  We will screen the PK/K and 1st graders first or last, since we set the devices differently for PK/K/1st.  All other children can show up in any order.  If children have prescription glasses, they should wear them during the screening.  Each child will have a 3x5 card, prepared by you, with the child’s name on it.  The child sits in the chair and presents the card to the screener who will record the results on the card and retain it.  The cards will be returned to you at the end of the screening, and no individual information or results will be retained by us.  We will record the vision results on the card as G if the child is wearing glasses, P for Pass, R for Refer or I for Inconclusive if we were unable to obtain a valid result.  We will require 2 chairs per screener, based upon the number of children, and a table and chair for the statistician.  The health staff should supervise the screening and provide volunteers to bring the classes to the screening area and move children into lines.  Teachers should be present and maintain discipline during the screening.  At no time will our screeners be alone with a child, we will always be under the supervision of the school's health personnel and teachers.

To schedule a screening go to the contact page on this site and contact the vision screening team.  You should choose a time when children will not be out of school for field trips, have testing or otherwise will not be able to be screened.  Also insure that you choose a day and time when your Preschool is in session, if applicable.  At the time of scheduling you can discuss the location you plan to use, how many volunteers and screeners and chairs you will need.  

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