Children's Vision

Bringing Care to Communities

A federally designated Medically Underserved Area, Boardman, Oregon, on the banks of the Columbia River, is home to 3,200 people. Many are served by the community health center bearing the river’s name, but vision care wasn’t a priority until a collaborative opportunity presented itself to Dr. Rebecca Chown, O.D.

In April 2016, Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU) Head Start program teamed up with Dr. Chown to ensure 26 children-who had been on a one-year wait list for care-could receive follow-up care from an eye doctor. Dr. Chown agreed to volunteer her time and conducted comprehensive eye exams on the 3- and 4-year-olds.

“It wasn’t just a little bit of farsightedness or nearsightedness,” she says. “We’re talking three diopters of astigmatism and significant amounts of farsightedness or nearsightedness. These children were in sincere need. This is an opportunity for optometrists to lead the way in helping their communities.”    Click here to read more 

1 in 4 children have vision problems that can interfere with learning in school, according to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.  

In Oregon, 25% of 2nd and 4th graders have undetected vision problems. That means that sometimes learning problems may be undiagnosed vision problems.

OOPA worked with partners in 2013 to enact The Children’s Vision Law in Oregon. Now, children up to age 7 starting school receive an eye exam or vision screening, plus glasses or other treatment, if needed.

Your Oregon optometric physicians provide comprehensive eye exams to diagnose and treat vision problems that affect learning in children and partner with the Oregon Foundation for Vision Awareness to ensure that inability to pay is not a barrier to children receiving the primary eye health services they need, and that the law requires.

The New Children’s Vision Law in Oregon     |     Children’s Vision Proclamation