Young boy wearing vision goggles to test sight.

Vision Programs & Services

At the core of the mission of the Lions of Illinois Foundation is our duty to provide quality programs for the detection, treatment, and rehabilitation of those with visual impairments. Currently, the following programs & services are in place to reach that goal:

“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 for 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 who travel to 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 children, 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 45 years. Our Foundation, using trained Doctors of Optometry, provides an extensive exam to children who have severe visual impairments, and supply special low vision aids as prescribed. These devices give the children an opportunity to see better and improve school performance.

Adult Low Vision-Orientation & Mobility Training
For over 20 years, Lions of Illinois Foundation has provided Low Vision services to students throughout Illinois. 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.

Our Partners: 

For more information, please watch the video below or contact a center near you. 

Mobile Retinopathy Program
The Mobile 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 October 31st every year, with special Health Fairs being held throughout the year.  The Foundation Programs Department sends invitations to clubs throughout the state to host the Mobile 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.