At the core of the mission of the Lions of Illinois Foundation, it is our duty to provide quality programs for the detection, treatment, and rehabilitation of those with visual impairments. Currently these programs & services are in place to reach that goal:
Used Eyeglass Collections Donation boxes are available from the LIF to place in local stores or use at a Club & community function. When the boxes are full they are picked up by local Lions/Lioness members and dropped off at collection depots. The public can also support this program by donating used eyeglasses to your local Lions/Lioness Club.
These recycled eyeglasses are given to people in need, with the help of various medical missionaries, in Central and South America and around the world. When the eyeglasses arrive in these countries, doctors and technicians conduct eye exams and provide a free pair of prescription eyeglasses that are as close as possible to that person's sight needs.
"Seeing is Believing" The Lions of Illinois Foundation partners with Spectrios Institute for Low Vision, the Illinois College of Optometry, and the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind to provide a FREE comprehensive visual evaluation to Illinois students in grades K-12. Students are referred by special education staff employed by the Illinois Board of Education.
The exams are performed by licensed optometrists that travel to the different screening locations throughout the state. Other components of the program include:referring parents to vocational counseling, Braille reading instruction, orientation and mobility training for child, and adaptive technology training.
The LIF “Seeing is Believing” Low Vision Program for Students provides a visually impaired child with the optical tools and training necessary to help prevent further vision loss or even blindness. If you are interested in sponsoring a child, please click here.
Jacksonville Semi-Annual Low Vision Clinic The Jacksonville Semi-Annual Low Vision Clinic has been in operation for over twenty-five years. Our Foundation, using trained Doctors of Optometry, provide an extensive exam to children who have severe visual impairments, and supply special low vision aids as prescribed. These devices provide the children with an opportunity to see better, improve school.
Adult Low Vision-Orientation & Mobility Training
Lions of Illinois Foundation has provided Low Vision services to students throughout Illinois for over 20 years. Now, LIF is bringing these services to Low Vision adults. With the help of partners like the Center for Sight and Hearing in Rockford and the Lake County Center for Independent Living in Mundelein, the Foundation is able to provide Orientation and Mobility Training to individuals who have recently lost or are losing their sight. O&M training focuses on instructing individuals who are blind or visually impaired with safe and effective travel through their environment. If a person were to become blind or severely visually impaired, there would be no funding through government assistance or private insurance to assist them with everyday living skills unless they were training for a job. An O&M specialist provides training that is designed to develop or re-teach the skills and concepts a blind or visually impaired person needs to travel safely and independently through their environment.
For more information, please watch the video below or call the Foundation office.
Mobile Diabetic Retinopathy Program The Mobile Diabetic Retinopathy Program is designed to screen people throughout Illinois who are in high-risk categories for Diabetic Retinopathy/Macular Degeneration. Screenings are free and made possible through the use of a mobile unit which travels throughout Illinois. The mobile unit carries a non-mydriatic camera with digital imaging capability which photographs the retina. These digital images (computer photos) of the retina are reviewed by professional staff at Illinois Retina Associates. Those found to exhibit symptoms of these retinal diseases after screening are encouraged to seek the ophthalmologic assistance of their choice.
The mobile unit is on the road from March 1st through November 30th every year. The Foundation Programs Department sends invitations to clubs throughout the state to host the Hearing Screening Unit. When a club decides to host the unit, they are sent a confirmation packet including their scheduled date, time, posters, and press releases. Weekend screenings are available.