CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight Support Vision Screenings at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight Support Vision Screenings at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games

July 26, 2022

Support of the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes Helps Enhance Eye Care for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

SAN RAMON, Calif.—As part of their ongoing support of Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening EyesCooperVisionOptometry Giving Sight and other partners helped to provide almost 2,000 vision screenings for Special Olympics athletes and clinical training for 79 eyecare professionals and students at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando.

Opening Eyes is one of seven Special Olympics Healthy Athletes screenings that was offered at the USA Games.

The screenings offer athletes free vision and eye health screenings on-site and, if necessary, prescription eyewear and sports goggles to improve the vision of the athletes on the playing field and beyond, according to a recent announcement.

In addition, all ECPs and optometry students who screened athletes at the USA Games received a clinical training to better understand how to meet the unique needs of people with intellectual disabilities—not only at the USA Games, but back home at their optometry practices.

“Our participation at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games was a truly meaningful way to see this partnership come to life. It is a privilege to provide vision care services that have the potential to make a marked impact on the lives of these athletes,” said Michele Andrews, OD, vice president, professional and government affairs, CooperVision.

“We look forward to further collaboration with Optometry Giving Sight and the Special Olympics Opening Eyes program to conduct more screenings and help raise awareness about the importance of inclusive vision care.”

Added Dr. Alicia Bazzano, chief health officer, Special Olympics, “The partnership with CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight allows us to reach and train more eyecare professionals and students on adapted health and vision screenings for people with intellectual disabilities. On behalf of Special Olympics athletes, I salute the leadership that CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight provides to bring inclusion to our communities around the world.”

Last year, CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight announced a $150,000 commitment through 2023 to support Opening Eyes in providing vision screenings, training of ECPs, and education resources—including videos that teach athletes and their families about various aspects of eyecare, and how to care for glasses and contact lenses.

Since its founding in 2001, Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes has conducted more than 440,000 screenings, provided over 260,000 prescription eyeglasses and sport goggles to people with intellectual disabilities, and offered practical training opportunities for more than 53,000 ECPs and optometry students around the world, the announcement noted.