CooperVision, Optometry Giving Sight, and Special Olympics in collaboration with community partners have continued their efforts to improve the sight and quality of life of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID).
In 2022, the joint partners continued to provide free Cope approved CE webinars to ECPs in the US, with 982 attendees taking part in the five webinars offered. The webinars covered various topics, including refractive, oculomotor and amblyopia development in people with ID, the impact of the cardiovascular system on ocular disease, and myopia management for people with ID. Attendees praised the webinars for being informative and educational. This webinar series has been a unique opportunity Special Olympics was able to offer through the partnership with CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight.
A major partnership milestone has been the 2022 Special Olympics USA games and the Special Olympics UNIFIED Cup in Detroit where CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight supported the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes program screened in total 2068 athletes and 305 UNIFIED partners and provided 1008 prescription glasses and sport goggles to athletes in need. In addition, 49 eye care practitioners and 57 optometry students have been trained in the process of performing the screenings.
The organizations also worked together to provide Opening Eyes screenings and training of ECPs and Eye Care students in Kenya. The screenings took place in seven different rural sites, with a total of 1495 children and adults with intellectual disabilities screened. Through partnerships with community hospitals Special Olympics Kenya was able to refer athletes in need for urgent care for eye diseases.
The full report highlights the organizations' efforts to improve the sight and quality of life of individuals with intellectual disabilities through various programs, screenings, and training sessions. These efforts have been crucial in ensuring that individuals with intellectual disabilities receive the eye care they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
In 2023, the joint partnership will continue their critical work through education and training of eye care practitioners and screenings of SO athletes.