Did you know academic learning is estimated to be 80% visual, yet vision screenings, which do not diagnose eye and vision problems, are recommended or required across the nation?

In 2000, Kentucky became the first state to require an eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist for all children entering a public school for the first time.

In 2003, Illinois became the first state to require written notification before a vision screening is conducted with the passage of "Amy's Law."


Let’s continue to raise the standards

  • Support legislation requiring written notification as a disclaimer before a vision screening is conducted that states:  “Vision screening is not a substitute for a complete eye and evaluation by an eye doctor.”
  • Support the choice of an eye exam by an eye doctor in place of a vision screening.
  • Support legislation requiring an eye examination by optometrist or ophthalmologist for all children entering kindergarten (or first grade) as a necessary prerequisite to academic learning.
  • Urge your state optometric licensing board (state board) to require a minimum of two hours per year of functional vision and learning related care as part of the CE requirements (continuing education) for each optometric renewal period.  Currently, only the optometrists who are members of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) are required to complete continuing education in functional vision and learning related care.
  • Although ophthalmologists are exempt from any optometric CE requirements, Vision First recommends that all ophthalmologists, whose practice involves children, register for these same courses. 


Important resolution needs your support

The resolution Importance of Comprehensive Eye and Vision Examinations needs your support. 

If you are a member of the PTA, teachers union, or a state optometric association, we encourage you to introduce this resolution in your state.  For further information, please contact us here...

Please keep us updated with your progress.  Vision First is forming a list (including website links) of PTAs, teachers unions, and state optometric associations that adopted a resolution for children's vision.  View current list here... 


A closer look at H.R. 577

Currently there is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate called the “Vision Care for Kids Act of 2009.”  This federal legislation hopes to improve the vision care for America’s children but will it really help?  Read more…

For further information regarding legislation in favor of required vision screening notification and required eye examinations, please contact Janet Hughes here...


From the eye doctor first to urge the 1987 vision law

“I’ve seen scores of children fall through the cracks of vision screenings.  This particular case motivated me to take action with my local school district.

This high school senior was in several foster families and on the road to juvenile delinquency.  When I examined him at the urging of his foster mother, I found large amounts of astigmatism and refractive error.  When I trial framed his prescription and asked him to read the eye chart, he looked at me and said, “So this is why I couldn’t read?” 

I know there are thousands more like this patient who aren’t diagnosed early and whose full potential is not realized.  Thank you, Vision First, for your common sense approach to erase decades of missed opportunities for children.”

Timothy P. Ortiz, OD

Ortiz Eye and Hearing Associates from Morris, Illinois


Recommended article

  • “Preschool screenings—Are they enough?”  The issue of comprehensive eye exams for children hasn’t received much attention until recently.  This optometrist points out why it’s important.  Read more…

“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible."

Sylvia Tarchala, Illinois PTA cultural arts chairman, and Vision First President Janet Hughes encourage you to get involved.  Together, we can make a difference!