“Seeing Is Believing” is a statewide low vision comprehensive evaluation clinic for students K-12 that provides eye health, screenings, and vision tools to help preserve their vision.

This program is made possible through the co-operative efforts of the LIF, Spectrios Eye Institute, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, and the Illinois College of Optometry.

What is Low Vision?
Low vision refers to severe vision impairing disorders which cannot be corrected with medical treatment, surgery, conventional glasses or lenses. There are more than 2,000 students with low vision in Illinois Public Schools.

What is “Seeing is Believing?”
The “Seeing is Believing” program is designed to help severely visually impaired Illinois students make the most of their remaining sight. The program consists of a comprehensive visual evaluation conducted by low-vision optometrists who recommend and prescribe specially crafted optical devices such as magnifiers, glasses, telescopes, and sun wear for maximizing sight. In addition, children are given adaptive training, counseling, and access to a network of information and resources available to assist visually impaired students and their families.

Who administers the program?
The Lions of Illinois Foundation, in conjunction with the Spectrios Eye Institute and the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, co-administers the program.

Where are the clinics held?
The program takes place in pre-selected elementary and secondary public schools throughout Illinois. Students are referred to the program by the Illinois Board of Education’s special education department personnel.

How do students benefit?
Students can benefit from the program in many ways. Students gain a better understanding and awareness of their vision loss. They learn how to maximize their remaining sight with prescribed optical devices which make print information more accessible.

The program furthers academic potential, facilitates after school and weekend employment opportunities, and generally and dramatically enhances a visually impaired youth’s ability to function independently as an adult.

How Much Does the Program Cost?
The program costs the Lions of Illinois Foundation $290 per student, $200 of which pays for the prescribed optical devices. The remaining funds cover a portion of the low-vision evaluations performed by Spectrios Eye Institute, Illinois College of Optometry, and Chicago Lighthouse personnel. There is no cost to the student.

For more information on low vision clinics, please contact us.

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