December 7, 2001

Free Eye Exams Available to Low-Income Californians

Low-income and uninsured California families can once again receive eye exams at no charge through a program operated by the California Vision Foundation (CVF, a non-profit organization that is "Dedicated to providing access to quality eye care to the medically underserved populations of California." Now a year-round program, the California Vision Project (CVP) provides free eye exams and low-cost eyeglasses to qualified individuals and their families thanks to a network of over 900 volunteer optometrists throughout the state.

"Good vision is important at any age. Unfortunately there are thousands of people unable to get the eye care they need, even though a family member works, because they are not eligible for government support," says Dr. Dorothy Oka-moto, President of CVF. "Some also have eye health conditions that could cause vision loss if left untreated."

Since CVF was founded eleven years ago, 16,000 Low-income children and adults have received free eye care and low-cost glasses, if needed. Only a minimal administration fee is charged for eyeglasses, thanks to generous support from the California Optometric Laboratories Association (COLA) and its member laboratories, which provide free or reduced-cost services to process prescriptions.

To qualify for the program, applicants must be employed at least part-time or live in a household in which at least one member if working part-time; have no health insurance and/or coverage for vision care; meet certain income criteria based on household size; and must not have had an eye exam at a doctor's office within the last two years.

For more information, or to receive an application, please call Kerry Lee or Jason Vitaich at CVF. Interested persons are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as the program commences in January 2002.

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