03 Feb County to increase vision screening in local schools
LOS ANGELES – Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis authored a motion to be heard by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at the Feb. 4 meeting that will explore opportunities to expand vision screenings for students in public schools throughout the county.
“Access to vision screenings, exams, and glasses are critically important for youth to grow and develop,” Supervisor Barger said. “I am hopeful that through this effort, we can ensure quality services are provided to those who need it most.”
Vision disorders are one of the most prevalent childhood conditions and can vastly impede learning and development. Federal and state laws have embraced pediatric eye care as an essential health care benefit for children, covered by public and private health insurance plans. However, children are too often unable to access services due to a shortage of providers, transportation challenges, or lack of awareness about optometric needs. These issues are especially challenging in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles County.
“Children from low-income communities disproportionately lack access to quality eye care. Without clear eyesight, students may fall behind their peers and struggle to catch up, or lose interest in their studies,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, the motion’s co-author. “All children should have equal access to regular eye exams and eyeglasses. Vision care will equip children to excel at school and in life.”
If approved, the Director of Public Health, the Chief Executive Officer and the Superintendent of the Los Angeles County Office of Education will report back to the Board of Supervisors in 90 days on the list of current screening practices at local schools, the referral process for vision examinations and the various funding sources available to provide free vision examinations and eyeglasses in all L.A. County school districts.