Special Olympics – Lions Club International Opening Eyes Program is an extensive vision care program brought to the international arena by generous donation from the Lions Club International Foundation.
Not only has Opening Eyes provided direct clinical care to athletes, training for optometrists and ophthalmologists on the most effective evaluation and treatment procedures for people with intellectual disabilities, but it also has changed attitudes. A study has shown that many professionals do not provide quality vision care to people with intellectual disabilities out of fear, lack of information or from strong negative misconceptions about what people with intellectual disabilities can achieve. This study also demonstrated that health care professionals’ participation in the Healthy Athletes initiative changes attitudes and creates a more realistic and positive view of the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
Opening Eyes will help people with intellectual disabilities to see and perform better whether at athletic competitions, at school, on the job or in their daily living activities.
The Special Olympics Opening Eyes program conducts comprehensive vision screenings, which includes 15 different vision and eye health tests, a refraction for those failing the screening, and free prescription eye glasses and protective sports eye wear as indicated.
Opening Eyes Clinical Director
Ryan Fenska, O.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Director of Rural Eye Program Clinics
Northeastern State University College of Optometry