Pass the Atticus Act: Enhanced School Vision Program for Maryland
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Help ensure that students who are visually impaired can see clearly. If we expect a child to learn then we should make sure they can see what we are teaching them.
The Atticus Act: Enhanced School Vision Program will ensure not just distance vision is checked but also symptoms of vision disorders like near vision, eye alignment, and eye teaming. This can be done through identification of at-risk groups, parent/teacher/screener observation, and/or adding 4 minutes to current screenings. Eye alignment or teaming disorders can be indicators of underlining health conditions like concussions, TBI, or neurological conditions.
In addition, parents receive Educational vision material: importance of eye exam, symptoms of vision disorders and educational impact, and at-risk groups for vision disorders. Because vision disorders can occur at anytime, educating parents on importance of an eye exam and symptoms of vision disorders is key to an effective School Vision Program.
Maryland Bills for 2018 Legislative Session
Enhanced vision screenings and increasing eye exam rates improving student performance
Public Vision Health
According to Prevent Blindness “vision plays an important role in children’s physical, cognitive, and social development. More than one in five preschool-age children enrolled in Head Start have a vision disorder. Uncorrected vision problems can impair child development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss; early detection and treatment are critical. Visual functioning is a strong predictor of academic performance in school-age children, and vision disorders of childhood may continue to affect health and well-being throughout the adult years.
The economic costs of children’s vision disorders are significant, amounting to $10 billion yearly in the United States. This estimate takes into account the costs of medical care, vision aids and devices, caregivers, special education, vision screening programs, federal assistance programs, and quality of life losses. Families shoulder 45 percent of these costs—not including the value associated with diminished quality of life.
Because young children and their parents may not be aware of reduced visual functioning, routine vision screening and/or eye examinations are vitally important to detect problems before the child’s development is compromised. Any possible problem identified by vision screening must be followed up with a comprehensive eye examination. Together, vision screening and eye examinations are complementary and essential elements of a strong public health approach to vision and eye health.”
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