Prevent Blindness: National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health forges Children’s Vision Equity Alliance

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The Children’s Vision Equity Alliance was created to improve access in children’s vision and eye health, working to advance equity in children’s vision and eye health through education, policies and partnerships.

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness has debuted the Children’s Vision Equity Alliance (CVEA).

For more than a decade, the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) has worked to provide access to vision and eye care services to children across the country.

Working with other stakeholders, the NCCVEH has established the CVEA to bring together experts from eye health, education and public health groups. With these connections, it will work to advance equity in children’s vision and eye health through education, access, policies, and partnerships.

According to the recent report from the NCCVEH, “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues 2nd Edition,” children experiencing health and socioeconomic inequities have lower rates of vision testing, experience disparities in visual impairment, and have reduced access to care.

Moreover, Latino and Black/African-American children are two to three times more likely to have unmet vision needs. Without early detection and treatment, uncorrected vision disorders can impair child development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss.

In an effort to address these challenges to vision care, the CVEA has set some initial goals, including to:

  • Foster education about the role of vision in the learning, health, and development of children in the target population of underserved communities of color (specifically Black/African-American, Indigenous and Latinx communities), beginning with a social media campaign to educate targeted populations.
  • Advocate for policies and practices to support equitable access to vision care for children.
  • Develop partnerships to support healthy vision and eye health equity for children.
  • Continue to attract leaders from the fields of ophthalmology, optometry, public health, school nursing, early childhood care and education, medical care, and parent education and engagement who work toward health equity.

According to Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, since the organization’s founding in 1908, Prevent Blindness has worked to ensure all children have the eye care access they deserve to enjoy healthy vision across their lifetimes.

“Through the new Children’s Vision Equity Alliance, coordinated by our National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness, we are working collaboratively with leaders, stakeholders and advocates to make sure we evolve and grow to effectively and strategically respond to the needs of families in underserved populations and communities,” he said in a statement.

For more information about The Children’s Vision Equity Alliance or children’s vision health topics, please visit https://nationalcenter.preventblindness.org/childrens-vision-equity-alliance or contact Donna Fishman at 800-331-2020 or dfishman@preventblindness.org.