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VISION SCREENING PROGRAM

The Sierra Vista Lions Club, in coordination with other participating Lions Clubs throughout Cochise County, has been conducting a Vision Screening Program that is available to all schools throughout the county.  So far over 10,000 pre-school and school age children/young adults have been screened since this school year began.

The purpose of this program is to identify those students with vision deficiencies so that they may be further seen by an eye care professional. This program is meant to fulfill the vision screening normally done by schools at the beginning of the school year, but more efficiently and effectively. Screenings comply with HB 2506 if it passes and becomes law.

Screenings are done utilizing SPOT Vision Screening Machines. Lions have two of these machines at their disposal. These machines were purchased as a result of the generous financial support from the Legacy Foundation of Southeast Arizona, which is an Arizona charitable organization whose philanthropic mission is to promote population health and community wellness throughout Southeast Arizona. We also do color vision screening utilizing color vision plates. These color vision screenings are generally done only for 1st graders.

The screening will check for the following six vision issues:

  •  Near-sightedness (myopia)
  •  Far-sightedness (hyperopia)
  •  Unequal refractive power (anisometropia)
  •  Blurred vision, eye structure problem (astigmatism)
  •  Pupil size deviations (anisocoria)
  •  Eye misalignment (strabismus)

The vision screening is provided at no cost to the schools - on a first come/first served basis. It can be scheduled at any time that is convenient for the school staff and students. Manpower is provided by the Lions to conduct the screenings and the only personnel needed by the school is a staff member to direct the flow of the students/classes to and from the screening area.

The screening is done within a matter of seconds. Hundreds of students can be screened within a couple hours. This is not only a very effective screening but also a very efficient screening. We can do in a couple hours what is could take a school nurse or other trained staff member days or weeks to accomplish, depending on the student population. These machines are also a very effective tool for screening special needs students. All they have to do is look into the machine for a few seconds and requires no other action on their part.

 

SCHEDULING A VISION SCREENING & WHAT TO EXPECT

 

  • Contact is made between school staff and Lions Club contact to schedule date and time of screening.  Please note that vision screening events are scheduled on a first come/first served basis.
  • Lions members show up approximately 30 minutes before screening time to set up. The school is asked to provide a room where the lights can be turned down/off so the machines will not be affected by too much light. The room should be big enough to allow students to enter and line up behind chairs where they will sit to be screened.
  • School provides each student to be screened with a 3X5 card or other document with the name, grade and class of each student. These cards will be used to document whether the student passes the screening (readings within limits) or should be referred to an eye care professional. The card will be noted with a “P” for Pass or “R” for Referral. At the end of the screening session, the Lions will only keep record of how many total screenings were conducted and how many of those screenings resulted in a recommendation for a referral to an eye care professional. No student names or results are maintained by the Lions and the cards are returned to the school staff for their use immediately upon completion of the screening. Students that wear glasses need to wear their glasses to the screening. The machines are able to determine the effectiveness of the current glasses prescription.
  • Individual classes are brought to the screening area where the screeners will be seated, generally with their backs against a wall. Students file in behind two chairs that are set facing and approximately three feet from the screeners. The students hand their card to the screener and sit in the chair. The screening takes approximately 5 seconds. Their card is then notated and the student gets up and the next students sits and repeats the process. There is no physical contact between screeners and students. Screening for a class of 25 students can be done in approximately 10 minutes. As long as the staff member keeps the classes coming to the screening area, with little down time in between, a school of three to five hundred students can be totally screened in an hour and a half to two hours. Since the students line up behind the chairs, they are in the room as the screenings are done. This allows them to see what is going on and should help eliminate any concerns they have as to the screening process. It is expected that on any given day there will be students absent due to illness, appointments etc. Lions can come back at a later date to conduct further screening for these students that were missed the first time, or new students that were enrolled since the initial screening was conducted. This just needs to be scheduled.