Posted by: Janet Hughes | June 30, 2009

Celebrating 7 Years on Vision Mission


When I was growing up, my beloved father was full of inspiration: “Find a need, and fill it.”

I valued his wisdom.  Surprisingly during the summer of 2002, my eldest daughter’s first eye exam found a serious problem that vision screenings missed!

Shocked at the eye doctor’s findings, I thought the vision screening “passed” the wrong child. Having read almost every book on parenting and motherhood, I did everything that was recommended or required by the pediatricians and school.  Why didn’t I know anything about children’s eye exams?

My family and I learned an important lesson that day; a lesson needed to be shared with everyone:  Vision screening is not a substitute for an eye exam by an eye doctor.

Yes… I found a need.  And for the past seven years, I’ve been inspired by my father to do all I can to fill it.

Today Illinois leads the nation with “Amy’s Law” and a required eye exam before starting school. My youngest son’s kindergarten registration packet will be complete with an eye exam form.  Every child across the nation deserves the same chance to ensure success.

I realize now the vision screenings didn’t pass the wrong child. The vision screenings passed the right child… mine!

Never underestimate your ability to make a difference.

Please join me on this mission.  Share your story with us.  Find answers, help, and hope here.  Make Vision First your mission, too.  Let’s bring children’s vision into the 21st century.

Together, we can make a difference in the eyes of every child.


Accomplishments listed here…

Make a difference here! Join the Kids Eyes Count email list…


Copyright (c) 2009 Vision First Foundation. All rights reserved.


  1. Congrats, Jan! You should be proud of all you did for so many.

  2. Janet, what is the difference between a vision test or an eye exam ?

    Our children had to have an eye exam before they started kindergarden .

    So glad you are working hard for the children !!
    Thanks !!

  3. Thanks, Aletta, for your great question, “What is the difference between a vision test and an eye exam?”

    Check out this great video. Hope it answers your question.

    There is more information on vision screenings on the Vision First website here:

    With lots of information on eye exams, too:

    Also, here is a great fact sheet from the Vision First “Help! I’m confused” series.

    It great your children had an eye exam before starting school. Kudos to you, Aletta!

    P.S. Please let me know if this information answered your question or not. 🙂

  4. Congrats on your anniversary!

  5. You’ve come a long way baby!!!

  6. Jan, my dad often told me “If you want to do something, you find a way. When you don’t want to do something, you find excuses.”

    I feel like we have heard too many excuses.

  7. Janet:

    Congratulations on all you have been able to accomplish in the past 7 years.

    It is often through the efforts of concerned parents like yourself that positive changes are made.

    The more parents know about vision and how it can affect their childs ability to learn to read and read to learn, the more proactive they will be in seeking needed care.

    Your efforts are helping parents to understand that passing a vision screening test doesn’t mean their child has perfect vision.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. Happy 84th birthday, Dr. Mizener! 🙂

    Thank you for picking up the phone and calling me that one day in 2002. YOU have made a difference in my life and in the lives of countless others.

    God bless you with a year filled with all your wishes come true!

  9. […] 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… […]

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