Purpose Hosts Helen Keller International’s Panel on NYC Child Vision Care

September 24, 2015


On Thursday, September 17th, Purpose hosted Helen Keller International’s policy briefing to raise awareness around the critical need for vision care among low-income children across New York City.

Helen Keller International’s ChildSight® program has been addressing this issue for more than 20 years by going directly into schools in underserved neighborhoods to provide free, high-quality vision care for children, including eyeglasses.  Kathy Spahn, President and CEO of Helen Keller International, led the conversation with Dr. On Lam, a New York City optometrist who conducts hundreds of ChildSight® screenings around the city each year, and Nancy Prail, who has led the ChildSight® program for 15 years.

Dr. Lam noted, “It is not uncommon for children we screen to not even be able to see the big “E” on the top of the eye chart.  We find out that these kids are trying to learn by copying other kids’ notes.  And we worry about these kids simply getting around and crossing the street.”  Attendees included the Lavelle Fund for the Blind, Children’s Aid Society, the Wilf Family Foundation and representatives from both the New York City Council and New York State Assembly.

You can view photos from the event here.