Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Community Impact

Improving Vision and Quality of Life of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

The 2022 Partnership Report highlights how CooperVision, Optometry Giving Sight and Special Olympics continue Improving Sight and Quality of Life of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
An athlete receiving an eye exam.
An Eye Care Professional volunteer exams an infant at the Opening Eyes screening event in Loitoktok sub-county.

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.

An athlete getting his eye glass frames fitted
An athletes receives new glasses at the Special Olympics event in Taita Taveta County, Kenya on October 2nd.

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.

Recommended Content

Opening Eyes and Essilor Vision Foundation Focus on Inclusion Health

Essilor Vision Foundation recently interviewed David Evangelista, Regional President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
1 Min Read

“We drove 140km for Special Olympics – Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes!”

Petra and Luka Temnikar travelled 140 kilometres across Slovenia to attend a Special Olympics Opening Eyes screening, and it was worth every kilometre!
3 Min Read

“Mission: Inclusion” Two Decades of Inclusion Through Service for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics celebrate two decades of partnership.
3 Min Read