Essilor Vision Foundation Helps U.S. Children See Clearly

Non-profit organization is committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences

Essilor Vision Foundation logo

​​​​​​One in four children in the United States has a vision problem that is significant enough to affect their ability to learn. Vision impacts every aspect of a child’s life, from learning, confidence and social interaction to participation in activities such as sports, art and music. Essilor Vision Foundation strives to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world clearly.

Vision – the invisible problem

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[1], vision impairment is one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children in the U.S., yet many parents don’t know when their child has a vision problem. “Essilor Vision Foundation refers to vision impairment as the invisible problem because unlike hunger or tooth decay, children often do not even know they cannot see clearly. To them, blurry eyesight is normal,” says Becky Palm, Essilor Vision Foundation President and Executive Director. Children rely on parents, teachers and their communities to be advocates for their vision care.

Three barriers to care

While there are many reasons why children do not receive regular eye exams and eyeglasses, Essilor Vision Foundation focuses on helping people overcome three barriers to care:

  • Awareness: As many as 44 percent of parents are not aware that behavioral problems can be an indication that a child’s vision is impaired.[2] Clear vision is critical for children, as 80 percent of what they learn is visual.[3] Parents often believe the vision screening provided at their children’s school is the same as an eye exam, but it is not. That is why the American Optometric Association recommends children have their first eye exam with an eye doctor at six months of age.
  • Access: Many people may think a lack of access to vision care is not something that happens in the United States. Yet it is estimated that 10 million children in this country live with blurred vision every day[4]. The good news is 80 percent of all vision impairment can be treated or cured, often with a pair of eyeglasses.   
  • Affordability: Families in need may not know how to get vision care for their children. For example, Medicaid covers eye exams, frames and lenses for children under 21 under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment program, but many people are not aware vision is covered. 

How Essilor Vision Foundation provides better life through better sight

Essilor Vision Foundation has donated one million pairs of glasses to people in need in the U.S. since it began operating in 2007. The organization partners with 1,000 eye care professionals, 190 non-profits and 500 schools around the country to provide vision exams and eyeglasses to children in need.

  • Eye doctors: Essilor Vision Foundation relies on eye care professionals to donate their time and expertise to conduct eye exams. The organization helps eye doctors promote the cause of vision by providing in-office educational marketing materials, free eyeglasses and lab services, and guides on how to get involved in charitable vision activities, as well as sponsoring community grants to empower doctors to make a difference.  
  • Non-profit charities: Essilor Vision Foundation works with 190 charities that address the lack of vision resources in the U.S. The foundation supports vision charities that want to give back to their communities by providing eyeglasses and lab services at no cost, in addition to offering educational resource to help vision non-profits increase their impact.  
  • Schools: Through its Kids Vision for Life program, Essilor Vision Foundation provides vision exams and glasses to children at their schools, as many kids would not receive vision care outside of school. The organization also supports schools with online educational resources about the importance of vision.

Essilor Vision Foundation strives to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world clearly. Visit to learn more.

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About Essilor Vision Foundation

We strive to give children a brighter future by helping them see the world more clearly. Since 2007, Essilor Vision Foundation has provided more than one million pairs of eyeglasses to individuals in need. Essilor Vision Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public, non-profit organization, based in Dallas, Texas, committed to eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. To learn more or to donate, visit Essilor Vision Foundation at / 1-866-385-0447.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vision Health Initiative



[4] Learning Related Vision Problems: Education and Evaluation, Resolution Adopted at the National PTA Convention, June 1999. 2ZabaJN.Children’s Vision Care in the 21st Century and its impact on Education, Literacy, Social Issues and the Workplace: A Call to Action. Journal of Behavioral Optometry 22; 2:39-41

Source: Essilor Vision Foundation

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