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Apr. 19, 2019 | Friday
Local News
Lions Club visits local schools for senior kindergarten vision clinics
Lions Club members and volunteers at Crossroads Elementary School for vision clinic; David Hooker, volunteer, Allen Snider, Bradd Anderson, Elizabeth Hooker, volunteer, Debbie Chegnon, Janet Guy, Keith Brown, Susan Snider. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

The St. Davids Lions club made its way to Crossroads Elementary School on Tuesday, as part of the club’s initiative to test student vision and advocate for the visually impaired.

As mandated by the Ministry of Health, senior kindergarten students across Ontario will undergo vision screening over the course of the year, coinciding with the dental clinic program that is already in place.

The Lions Club became involved when the Niagara Health Unit, based out of Thorold, heard about the initiative.

Bradd Anderson of the St. Davids Lions Club said it was a perfect fit for the organization.

“We have a volunteer within our Lions district who wanted to get us involved. With the Ministry of Health’s mandate, and our wish to volunteer - the marriage was made.”

A pilot run of the clinic began in September. The club visited 20 schools, equipped with devices to test student’s vision and make recommendations regarding eye-sight, according to standards set by the Ministry of Health.

Anderson said there are three components used during the clinic. An auto refractor camera takes a photo of the eye and translates it into data, which conveys whether an issue needs to be addressed further. There’s an HOTV flip-chart with progressively smaller letters for testing eyesight, and a Randot Stereotest is used for depth perception.

“In each of the three steps there’s a grade that’s been standardized by the Ministry of Health. If they don’t meet the criteria, then a letter goes home to the parents recommending a visit with an optometrist.”

Anderson said running the clinic aligns with one of the global causes of the Lions Club.

“It dates back 100 years. Helen Keller came to a Lion’s convention in 1925 and challenged us to be knights of the blind. Since that day we’ve had a compassion for people who have sight issues. That leads us to today where we are able to help children to make sure they can see properly.”

He said the volunteers and members enjoy coming out and doing the clinics. From what he can tell, he said the students enjoy it too. “It’s fun. It’s a really positive experience.”

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