Posted by: Janet Hughes | July 30, 2010

Tribute to a Giant

Kudos to giant Dr. Floyd Mizener!

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” (Isaac Newton)

This post is dedicated to my giant… Dr. Floyd Mizener.

Eight years ago, this exceptional person looked up my phone number after reading about me in the American Optometric Association News.  It was my lucky day!

During the summer of 2002, I learned my eldest daughter’s first eye exam diagnosed a significant vision problem missed by vision screenings.

I wrote a letter to the American Optometric Association sharing my passion for better children’s eye care.  That letter was featured by editor Bob Foster in the AOA NEWS August 26, 2002 issue, “From Blurry Chalkboards to Grateful Parents.”

When Dr. Mizener read about my mission, he wasted no time and called me:  “Janet, I’ve been trying to get eye exams for kids for over 50 years.  Vision screenings have misled parents for decades.  I can help.  I will give you all the ammunition you need!”

Dr. Mizener, Dr. Woods, Dr. Vogel, Dr. Kernis, Amy, Lisa, Julie, Mark, and Grammy in 2003.

That’s when I began learning about lenses, prisms, and the marriage of two eyes working as one!

Dr. Mizener also led me to his great friends Dr. Larry Vogel, the late Dr. Floyd Woods, and the late Dr. Irving Kernis.

Together they formed the “Optometric Four Horsemen” and rallied beside me as we created the the first Vision First form and passed Amy’s Vision Law and required eye exams for children starting school.

Dr. Mizener, if I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made a difference in someone’s life, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand.

Thank you for taking me under your wing and being my giant!

Doris Mochel, Dr. Elliot Politzer, Dr. Floyd Mizener, and Dr. Larry Vogel in 2007.

In addition to being co-founder and vice-president of Vision First Foundation, Dr. Mizener is also past president of the Illinois Optometric Association, past president of the Downers Grove Noon Lions Club, and a recipient of the prestigious Melvin Jones Award.

Dr. Mizener is known for his outstanding service and dedication to the Lions Club for over 50 years.

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Dr. and Mrs. Mizener, Dr. and Mrs. Schlange at the South Suburban Christmas Party in 2009.

Lions Floyd Mizener, George Swimmer, and Jim Addington

Dr. Mizener and friends at a Downers Grove Noon Lions Club meeting.

Dr. Mizener, Dr. Tannenbaum, and Dr. Vogel

Dr. Mizener and Dr. Steve Leon

We love you Dr. Mizener! From your friends and fellow Board members at Vision First Foundation

Posted by: Janet Hughes | June 30, 2010

AAIM Donation Joins VIPs

Kudos to IDPH Director Dr. Damon Arnold and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Holidays, parties, picnics and booze. Did you know I’m also an advocate to stop drinking and driving?

Last October, I attended the annual fundraiser for the non-profit group AAIM, Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.

AAIM provides life-saving programs to help victims of drunk driving crashes and works hard to prevent future tragedies.

AAIM’s 2009 benefit “Shining Down From Heaven” touched hearts and renewed spirits.

Surrounded by families, friends, and one courageous offender who turned his life around, Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men provided the perfect song “One Sweet Day” during the DVD tribute to crash victims.

Over 125 silent auction items were donated. Many thanks to Secretary of State Jesse White and his silent auction gift. I considered it an honor to have lunch with one of Illinois’ leaders. Because of my donation made to AAIM’s worthy cause, I won this special privilege.

Last week we dined at the Rosebud Prime restaurant in Chicago. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) director Dr. Damon Arnold joined us as my guest!

I met Dr. Arnold last October at the Plano Vision Development Center fundraiser where he received the Humanitarian Award. Many thanks to Dr. Arnold, too, for his dedication and service to children.

The Secretary and Dr. Arnold were charming, fascinating, and inspiring!   Read their great biographies here: Jesse White and Dr. Arnold.

I would like to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Honorable Jesse White, Dr. Arnold, and all the wonderful giving people at AAIM.  Your tireless efforts are making a difference!


Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

***********************************************************************

Read more about AAIM and drunk driving facts here…

Besides fighting drunk driving, Secretary White also:

Think twice before drinking and driving!

Think twice before getting into a car with someone drinking and driving!

Listen to “One Sweet Day” on YouTube below…

Posted by: Janet Hughes | May 12, 2010

Thank you, Nora!

Members Making a Difference...Kudos to Vision First secretary Mrs. Nora Waliczek

During 2003, a story in my local paper about Senate Bill 805 prompted a special person to call me…Mrs. Nora Waliczek.

“Thank you for Amy’s Vision Law,” she cried. “I tried over thirty years ago to get a bill passed but it failed when the screeners and medical doctors lobbied against eye exams. I think it’s great that finally there’s a law in favor of what’s best for children’s vision.”

Mrs. Nora Waliczek, an Illinois PTA honorary life member and former Illinois PTA Valley Area council president, experienced the shortfalls of vision screenings during the 1970′s.  As another parent whose child fell through the cracks of a broken system, we became instant friends.

“When my son passed his vision screenings, his teachers and I thought his eyes were okay. But it wasn’t true. My son struggled with reading until an eye exam with an optometrist found his vision problem and treated him with vision therapy.”

Illinois PTA adopts resolution "Required Vision Exam Before Entering Kindergarten" in 2004

Nora shared with me her dad often told her, “If you want to do something, you find a way. When you don’t want to do something, you find excuses.”

Nora and I joined forces to raise the standards of eye care for our children’s visual welfare.

Illinois PTA’s annual convention was first in 2004.

Every child. One Voice. Join the PTA!

Together with the late Dr. Floyd Woods, we persuaded the delegates to support the resolution, “Required Vision Exam Before Entering Kindergarten.” It was a tremendous experience! Read more about our dear friend Dr. Woods here…

Success breeds success. Also a member of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), Nora gave the newly adopted PTA resolution to her local teachers’ union, Local 571 in 2005.

The IFT unanimously adopted the resolution! Two years later, Illinois had required eye exams for all children starting school. Read the full story here…

All children should have an eye exam before starting school.

Kudos to Mrs. Nora Waliczek for being a pioneer in caring that our children see a bright and beautiful future!

In addition to serving on the Vision First board as secretary, Nora recently retired as a teacher’s aide in a suburban Chicago school district. She enjoys knitting original garments and designing beautiful floral pieces. Also a breast cancer survivor, Nora doesn’t let anything stand in her way.  She continues to advocate for organ donors on behalf of her son who is in need of a kidney transplant.

Nora and her husband, Rich, have two sons and are the proud grandparents of four boys and a new puppy girl named, “Lola.” Read about her grandson’s first eye exam here…

Thank you, Nora, for all you do for PTA, too!

Make a difference in the eyes of child!

1. KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

2. MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

3. KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here.

Receive updates and important news.

Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold.

Sign-up here today!

Thank you for your interest and support.

Let's bring children's vision into the 21st century.

We love you Nora!

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Janet Hughes | April 24, 2010

Kudos to District 1-J Lions

John and Lion Jim Addington, 1st Vice Governor Elect for District 1-J at the 52nd annual convention.

Sight saving programs, hearing loss prevention, diabetes awareness…
name the cause and your local Lions club is ready to help!

“Members Making a Difference” this month features a leading group of dedicated volunteers from the largest service organization in the world— Lions Clubs International.

Kudos to the Lions clubs in Illinois’ District 1-J for outstanding community service!

District 1-J Governor Lion George Endean, his wife Sharon, John, and Lion Leo Snyder, 2nd Vice Governor Elect

Thanks to District 1-J Governor George Endean, Lion Jim Addington, and Lion Floyd Mizener, my youngest son John and I attended our first Lions convention.

As the parent behind Illinois’ two recent laws for children’s vision, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Read more about Amy’s Vision Law here and required eye exams before starting school here.

Kudos to 45,000 Lions clubs worldwide!

Lions Clubs are known all over the world for their commitment to preventing blindness and preserving sight. The perfect tie-in to Vision First Foundation!

Vision First hosted a table filled with information about our new non-profit group and our Kids Eyes Count Campaign.

Did you know there is a big difference between vision screenings and eye exams? View this short video here…

We met many fine Lions who are making a difference in their hometowns: sponsoring vision and hearing impaired children to Camp Lions; collecting used eyeglasses; providing holiday meals to needy families; donating scholarship money to college kids in need; sponsoring “Ski for Sight” and “Someone Special;” as well as supporting the Lions of Illinois Foundation and the Lions Clubs International Foundation.

Lion Richard Butz, president of Naperville Noon Lions Club with John, age 5. Illinois law requires an eye exam for all children starting kindergarten.

District 1-J fulfills the Lions mission: “to empower volunteers to serve their communities.”

Congratulations to all members for leading the way in helping others!

District 1-J is one of 12 districts in Illinois. Five regions of clubs have about 2700 members in 71 towns such as:

Bartlett
Clarendon Hills
Crystal Lake
Darien
DeKalb
Downers Grove
Elgin
Elburn
Geneva
Hinckley
Johnsburg
Lombard
Oak Brook
South Elgin
Sycamore
Westmont
West Chicago
Wheaton

Lion Ketan Kansara from Wood Dale signs up and joins the Kids Eyes Count Campaign!

Make a difference in the eyes of a child! Follow three simple steps in the “Kids Eyes Count Campaign.”

KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here. Receive updates and important news.

Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold.

Sign-up here today!

Many thanks again to all Lions Club members. You’re living your motto, “We Serve!” God bless your efforts and all the good will you bring to others!

Learn how Lions Clubs can support Vision First Foundation here…

Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Vision screening is not a substitute for an eye examination.

John's slinky entertains Lions Ed & Gary!

Over 1.3 million members worldwide make Lions Clubs the leader in community service.

Lion Dale from Batavia proud to be a Lion

Sign-up here and be on the Kids Eyes Count email list. Alana did!

Lion Nancy Cummings from Downers Grove Noon club with a future Leo!

Leo clubs give young people a chance to volunteer and help others, too.

Lions sponsor vision and hearing impaired children to Camp Lions.

Lions sponsor Ski for Sight for the blind.

John takes a break and eats P & J.

Lions clubs empower volunteers to serve their communities.

Lions are known worldwide for their commitment to preserving sight.

Name the cause and your local Lions club is ready to help.

Name the cause and your local Lions club is ready to help.

Keep eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

International guest and convention keynote speaker Lion Joe Preston

Did you know every vision screening should have a disclaimer?

NO Lions club in your area? Don't worry. You can start one!

Lions collect and recyle used glasses.

Healthy eyes and good vision are a child's best school supply!

Lions also have fun! Lion Bruce sings the Slinky song to John!

Lion Brian Clevenger, president of Batavia Lions Club

Make comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child's health care.

Lions make new friends. Lions Karyn and Ray are my inspiration!

Lion Gary Vician of Naperville Noon

Lion Bob Jilke, District 1-J Trustee and Lion Ken from Lions of Illinois Foundation

Lions make a difference. Join your local Lions Club today!

Posted by: Janet Hughes | March 31, 2010

Janet Sees 3D Movie

Vision experts say 3D movies can uncover hidden vision problems.

Amazing. Incredible. Out-of-this-world!

Advocating for healthy eyes and good vision took a new turn… into 3D!

“How to Train Your Dragon” earns FIVE STARS from me. If you haven’t seen a 3D movie yet, THIS is one movie not to be missed!

Unfortunately, nine to eighteen million Americans will NOT enjoy a 3D movie due to undetected vision problems.

Amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (eye turns), and binocular vision disorders (such as CI or convergence insufficiency) will hinder the visual experience of a 3D movie.

Read vision expert Dr. Dominick Maino’s editorial “The Binocular Vision Dysfunction Pandemic” here…

Thanks to Ric and Scott at Cinemark of Seven Bridges for showing me the production room where it all begins!

3D or “three dimensional” makes a flat screen movie come alive.

Using two cameras, an image for each eye is recorded onto each frame. When the special “3D glasses” are worn, the brain then takes these two images and fuses them into one thus creating the 3D effect.

3D Merriman explains: “With a separate image for each eye, one can see depth. Images ‘float’ right out of the screen in front of your face.”

Read more about how 3D movies work on his website here…

Binocular vision works the same way. Also known as “stereo-vision,” two seeing eyes fuse two images into one in the brain creating depth perception.

Read more about 3D vision on the Optometrists Network website here...

3D movies depend on good 3D vision.

Before the show began, the usher advised the audience: “Close your eyes if you feel nauseas!”

Oh my… nauseas?  No need to feel nauseas!

The good news is undetected vision problems can be easily diagnosed by an eye doctor’s eye exam and treated with glasses and/or vision therapy.

Remember… vision screenings DO NOT diagnose vision problems. Comprehensive eye and vision examinations DO.

Congrats to all at DreamWorks for creating this wonderful movie.

A touching story coupled with great music make this 3D movie tops on my list…

AND another good reason to continue advocating for children’s best vision!


Comprehensive eye and vision exams are important for all children throughout their school-aged years.

Follow three steps and be a part of the Vision First Foundation Kids Eyes Count Campaign:

    2. MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s health care.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list!

Receive updates and important news. Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold. Sign-up here today!

Vision problems can be easily diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor.

Please recycle your 3D glasses.

Scott says, "Don't worry! Recycled glasses are cleaned and sterilized!"

Vision problems are best detected and treated early. Make the most of 3D movies!

Special thanks to Scott Wajda and Ric Vallina for taking me “behind the scenes” at Cinemark of Seven Bridges in Illinois. I enjoyed learning about 3D movies. All the best to you and your great theater!

NOTE: If you suspect a binocular vision problem, please visit an eye doctor who’s a member of College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Read more here…

Thank you for your interest and support!


Copyright (c) 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Janet Hughes | February 28, 2010

Flat Stanley Visits Uncle Jack

Uncle Jack welcomes Flat Stanley to Colorado!

Did you know a child struggling with reading could really have an undetected vision problem?

Thanks to my eldest son’s first grade teacher, a simple homework assignment turned the subject of reading into a great learning adventure about children’s vision.

“Members Making a Difference” this month features my wonderful Uncle Jack and Stanley Lambchop, a beloved fictional character flattened by a bulletin board who now travels the world in an envelope inspiring children and adults to read.

Colorado's famous beautiful park!

Experts estimate 80% of all learning comes through the eyes. When Uncle Jack welcomed Flat Stanley, I thought this was the perfect chance to link good vision with better reading!

My son and his first grade class loved Uncle Jack’s letter. As a father of five and grandfather to eleven, Uncle Jack enjoyed hosting Flat Stanley for the week.

Hunting for dangerous bears, fishing at 8,787 feet above sea level, visiting “Garden of the Gods,” and camping in the mountains were sights Flat Stanley did not want to miss!

Eye exams are important before learning how to read.

Every child should have an eye exam before learning how to read.

The National Eye Institute reports, “Vision disorders are the number one handicapping condition in childhood. However, fewer than 15% of all preschool children have an eye exam.”

Unfortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children have vision screenings. Read “AAP Vision Policy Gets NSF” here…

It’s important parents know that vision screenings are limited and should never replace a comprehensive exam by an eye doctor.

Learn the difference between vision screenings and eye exams. Watch my daughter Amy and me in this helpful video made in 2004 here…

Comprehensive exams evaluate eye health, visual acuity, refraction, and visual efficiency.

During a comprehensive eye and vision exam, an optometrist or ophthalmologist should evaluate:

  • Eye Health
  • Visual Acuity
  • Refraction
  • Visual Efficiency

Important visual efficiency skills involved in reading include: eye tracking and peripheral vision; eye teaming and convergence; and eye focusing stamina and accuracy.

For more information on visual efficiency and another important part to the reading process called visual processing,  please visit “Vision and Reading” from http://www.VisionFirstFoundation.org.

The Vision First form provides an easy to understand format.  See form here…

Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri require an eye exam for all children starting school. Illinois is also the only state at this time to require a written notice as a disclaimer before a vision screening is conducted. Learn more about “Amy’s Vision Law” here…

Uncle Jack catches big bad bear!

Thank you, Uncle Jack, for making Flat Stanley’s visit a great learning experience about children’s vision.

All children deserve to have the best vision possible for reading and learning.

Your support is making a difference!



Flat Stanley climbs Pike's Peak with Uncle Jack!


Print cut-out here…

Directions for trips here…

Order books here…

Check out tips here…

Play games here…

If you suspect a child is struggling with reading, please visit an eye doctor who’s a member of COVD, College of Optometrists in Vision Development. Learn more here…

Make a difference in the eyes of child!

Follow 3 simple steps...

1. KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

2. MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

3. KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.


Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here. Receive updates and important news.

Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold.
Sign-up here today!

Thank you for your interest and support.





Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Janet Hughes | January 24, 2010

Cooper Joins Campaign

"Babies need an eye exam, too?" Cooper, age 5 months

Baby’s first Christmas, baby’s first step, baby’s first tooth… Parents love celebrating all those firsts with their new little one!

Did you know a baby should also have a first eye exam?

“Babies explore their world with their eyes,” explains Dr. Pete Kehoe, past president of the American Optometric Association and advocate of the public health program InfantSEE. “It’s important a baby’s eyes are checked to ensure healthy eyes and normal visual development. I’m thrilled to see Vision First and their Kids Eyes Count Campaign promote infant eye care.”

Cooper’s new parents couldn’t agree more. “Nothing is more important to me then protecting my child’s eyes,” said Cooper’s new mom, Cindy. “When you’re a mom, you see the world through the eyes of your child. Those eyes see and appreciate things that we adults take for granted.  It’s great there are groups supporting the best in children’s eye care.”

Baby wellness check-ups by a pediatrician should not be confused with eye care by an eye doctor. Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends vision screenings for all children, parents need to know that a vision screening is not be a substitute for an eye examination. Vision screenings are limited. Only an eye doctor can identify vision problems and prescribe treatment.

Little Mark's first eye exam in 2002

The American Optometric Association recommends a baby’s first eye exam at 6 months of age. An optometrist will test for large or unequal amounts of refractive error, eye movement ability, and eye health.

“Babies are a pleasure to examine,” said Dr. Kehoe.  “It’s great giving moms and dads the good news that their baby’s eyes are healthy and developing normally.  The InfantSEE exam is the perfect opportunity to educate parents about a lifetime of healthy vision.”

For babies 6-12 months

To ensure all babies have their first eye exam before their first birthday, optometrists who are members of InfantSEE will provide one free eye appointment for all babies who are between 6 -12 months of age as a no-cost public service.  Learn more about InfantSEE here…

Eye and vision problems are best detected and treated early. Thank you for your interest and support in bettering children’s eye care.

Cooper says, "Hey... this kid's eyes count!"

Follow three simple steps and be a part of the Kids Eyes Count Campaign:

    2. MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s health care.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here! Receive updates and important news. Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold.
Sign-up here today!

Learn how babies learn to see! Check out this great page from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) website here…

Check out this great page from the AOA’s website on infant’s vision here…


This post is the first of my new series called, “Members Making a Difference.” Look for a new special member each month. Enjoy!


Copyright © 2010 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Janet Hughes | December 29, 2009

Janet’s Top Posts 2009

Wishing you all the best in 2010!

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.”
—Hal Borland

Blogging about children’s vision proved to be another great year for Janet’s Journal.

From healthy tips to updates and political reports, advocating for our children’s best vision has again been rewarding and lots of fun.

Here are my top posts in 2009.  My favorites include: Top Ten “Eye do” and Don’ts; Here’s the Deal; AAP Vision Policy gets NSF; Eyes on U-Tube; and What’s Going On?  As always, your comments are welcomed and appreciated!

Thank you for visiting Janet’s Journal. Your friendship and support keeps me writing!

website-photo-lisa-looking-to-the-right

Healthy New Year! Top Ten “Eye do” and Don’ts Jan. 10, 2009
Here are my top ten “do and don’ts” for your eyes.  Oh oh…includes the #1 resolution I did NOT keep!
Read more here…

What’s Going On? February 1, 2009
Janet’s Journal took a new spin in February.  Read about my concerns while listening to a great song.

Listen and read here…

Vision First form rejected? April 19, 2009
When Illinois’ eye exam law went through the rule-making process, I had many questions why the state’s form would be the only form accepted as proof of an eye exam. Read the objections, voice of reason and common sense, and many great comments from supporters of the Vision First form here…

Janet Wins Seat on Grade School Board April 29, 2009
This post also links to my new education blog “Reaching the Stars.”
Yes, it’s been a busy year! Read about the election here…




New ImageHere’s the deal…”Illinois” Hold’em style!
May 18, 2009
Written for the novice poker player, here’s my spin on the famous game “Texas Hold’em.” Comments were great! Deal the kids a winning hand here…

Celebrating 7 Years on Vision Mission June 30, 2009
Today Illinois leads the nation with Amy’s Vision Law and a required eye exam before starting school.  Can’t believe it started seven short years ago!  Blessing to my daughter Amy for passing her vision screenings. Read more here…


AAP Vision Policy Gets NSF August 31, 2009
Another post with many great comments. Read my list of  “overdrawn statements” followed by deposits.  Includes my analogy to breastfeeding, too.  Also links to helpful websites, articles, and Sue Barry’s book “Fixing My Gaze” here…

Eyes on U-Tube: Screening or Exam? September 30, 2009
View the video of Amy and me with Dr. Sandra Block. Made in 2004 and a winner of the National Eye Institute’s Healthy Eyes Healthy People grant! View here…

Janet attends COVD in Denver October 23, 2009
Attending the College of Optometrists in Vision Development convention was exciting and helpful.  Met many great people in the eye care field.  See fun photos here…



A closer look at H.R. 577–Vision Care for Kids Act Nov. 26, 2009
The Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009 aims to provide $65,000,000 over the next five years. Grant money will be awarded as follow-up care to states participating in vision screenings. OUCH…vision screenings!
Read more here…



Did you know I’m also an advocate to stop drunk driving?

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk.

If you’re going to drive, please don’t drink. And if you’re going to drink, please don’t drive. Read more on my new education blog here…


Make a difference in the eyes of a child! Follow three simple steps in the “Kids Eyes Count Campaign.”

KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here. Receive updates and important news.

Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold. Sign-up here today! Thank you for your interest and support.


Copyright © 2009 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Janet Hughes | November 26, 2009

A closer look at H.R. 577–Vision Care for Kids Act

Currently there is a bill in the U.S. Senate called the Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009. Already passed by the House, this federal legislation hopes to improve the vision care for America’s children. According to the original bill in Section 2, Congress states these findings: Millions of children in the United States suffer from vision problems, many of which go undetected.

The Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009 aims to provide $65,000,000 over the next five years. Grant money will be awarded as follow-up care to states participating in vision screenings.

According to the bill, children must be previously referred by vision screenings with a possible vision problem and must not have insurance or coverage under any federal or state programs.

While many children not receiving adequate eye care are from working poor families, lack of vision care is a serious problem affecting children in all economic levels. The National Eye Institute reports: Fewer than 15% of all preschool children receive an eye examination.

The Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009 addresses only the children who fail a vision screening. Unfortunately, this bill does not address the true problem—the vision screening system and its substitution for eye examinations.

The original bill declared in Section 2 that children have refractive errors, amblyopia, strabismus, and various medical eye problems. However, there was no mention of the vision problem affecting reading and school performance—binocular dysfunction and learning related vision problems. It is estimated that 6% of eye problems are medical. The remaining 94% are vision problems.

There is a need for education regarding the diagnosis and treatment of all vision problems yet according to the latest version of this bill, no more than 10 percent received under the grant can be applied towards education.

Since vision screenings do not make a diagnosis, children who “pass” will be at risk with undetected eye and vision problems. Children will continue to “fall through the cracks” and remain “left behind” due to vision screenings and the limits contained in this proposed bill.

The public needs to be informed what eye care professionals have known for years—that a vision screening is not a substitute for an eye examination by an eye doctor.

Parents should be encouraged to have their children undergo comprehensive eye and vision examinations, not vision screenings. All children should be examined by an eye doctor, not just those who fail a vision screening.

The Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009 will continue the problem. It does not address the solution.

Read the complete text of H.R. 577 here.

Read more about vision screenings here.

ATTENTION U.S. SENATORS:  Improve the language in this proposed bill.  I urge you to include “Amy’s Vision Law” and support to states that require an eye exam for children starting school.  For further information, please contact me here. Thank you in advance for your interest and support.


Make a difference in the eyes of a child! Follow three simple steps in the “Kids Eyes Count Campaign.”

KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.

MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.

KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here. Receive updates and important news.

Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold. Sign-up here today! Thank you for your interest and support.


Copyright © 2009 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

Posted by: Janet Hughes | October 23, 2009

Janet attends COVD in Denver

Bob Williams, executive director, Optometric Extension Program (OEP), Janet Hughes, and Dr. Paul Harris

Bob Williams, executive director of the Optometric Extension Program (OEP) and Dr. Paul Harris (MD) at COVD convention

Attending the 39th annual convention of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) proved a great experience for Vision First from October 14-17, 2009.

Held at the Marriott Denver Tech Center in Denver, Colorado, each day was filled with exciting exhibits, meetings, and workshops about the latest in behavioral vision care.

I was thrilled to make a great number of influential contacts at this convention who will help in my efforts to protect our children’s vision.

COVD is a national organization that provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists in vision therapy, visual rehabilitation, and behavioral vision care.

For more information on COVD, please visit their website here.

Make a difference in the eyes of a child.  Join the “Kids Eyes Count Campaign.”

  • KNOW vision screening is not a substitute for eye examination.
  • MAKE comprehensive eye and vision examinations by an eye doctor part of a child’s healthcare.
  • KEEP eye care health and good vision habits a priority.

Join the “Kids Eyes Count” email list here. Receive updates and important news!

Please note Vision First respects your privacy. Your email address will not be shared or sold. Sign-up here today!

C O M I N G   S O O N!  Starting January 2010, each month Janet’s Journal will feature “Members making a difference!”

  1. NEW VISITORS: The first 5 new visitors who join the Kids Eyes Count email list will have the option to be featured on Janet’s Journal!
  2. EXISTING MEMBERS: The first 5 members to post a comment will have the option to be featured, too!

Make a difference here…

COVD President Dr. Brad Habermehl, Dr. Dan Fortenbacher, Dr. Carol Scott, and Dr. Phil Bugaiski
COVD Presidents-Current, past and future?

View more fun photos on the Vision First website here!

    Thanks to everyone at COVD for all you do for children’s vision!

Shown to the left:  COVD President-Elect Dr. Brad Habermehl, Past-President Dr. Dan Fortenbacher, Immediate Past-President Dr. Carol Scott, and Dr. Phil Bugaiski.

You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins. —Jim Stovall

Thank you for your support of Vision First Foundation.

Fun at the banquet

Fun at the banquet

Dr. Brad Habermehl (MI), Janet, and Dr. John Abbondanza (MA)

COVD President Dr. Brad Habermehl (MI) and Dr. John Abbondanza (MA)

Janet tries VT

Janet tests eye/hand coordination

Janet applauds new Fellow Dr. Shelley Kim of Mt. Prospect, Illinois

Applauding new COVD Fellow Dr. Shelley Kim of Illinois

Janet dines with Yogi Bear

Dining with Yogi Bear

Janet meets Dr. W.C. Maples of Tennessee

Celebrating with COVD Past-President (1996-98) Dr. W.C. Maples of Tennessee

Dr. Jarrod Davies (UT), Dr. David Damari (TN), Janet, and Dr. Robin Price (UT)

Webmasters Dr. Jarrod Davies (UT), Dr. David Damari (TN) and Dr. Robin Price (UT)

Paul Magaudda from California

Paul Magaudda from California

Janet meets author/advocate Sue Barry

Meeting author Sue Barry

Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown (Chicago, IL) receives two awards for vision therapy success story nephew and star football player Larry Fitzgerald

Dr. Stephanie Johnson-Brown (Chicago, IL) receives two awards for nephew and star football player Larry Fitzgerald

Janet meets Dr. Brian Berliner from New York

Dr. Brian Berliner from New York

Janet meets Dr. Kara Heying from Iowa

Dr. Kara Heying from Iowa

Janet with award winner Dr. Dominick Maino of Chicago, Illinois

Congratulations to award winner Dr. Dominick Maino of Chicago, Illinois!

Janet meets Dr. Carl Hillier from California

Dr. Carl Hillier from California

Vision therapist Ruth from Michigan

Vision therapist Ruth from Michigan

COVD Past-President (04-05) Dr. Lynn Hellerstein (CO)

COVD Past-President (2004-05) Dr. Lynn Hellerstein (CO)

Janet visits with Uncle Jack and Kathy of Colorado

My Uncle Jack and Kathy of Colorado

My special friend Elaine from Colorado

My special friend Elaine (CO)

Dr. Dave Grisham from California

Dr. Dave Grisham from California

Margie, Janet, and Ali

New friends Margie (CA) and Ali (CO)

065_65E

Dr. Daniel Gottlieb (GA)

Missing the mountains

Missing the mountains



View more fun photos on the Vision First website here!


Copyright (c) 2009 Janet Hughes. All rights reserved.

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