Every year in Ontario:
Why is this?
How can we change this?
Before Grade 1 every child's eyes need to be checked and treated if necessary. But this is easier said than done. Ontario is vast and every year 100,000 children enter school.
We are researchers at McMaster and SickKids who are working on ways to do this efficiently. We are comparing quick eye tests to see which are the most useful, and we are working with 15 communities across the province to see how vision testing can be done at school with minimal disruption of routines.
All of this is free. For this project the quick tests are done by volunteers or are paid for by federal research grants from CIHR and NSERC , optometrists are paid by OHIP , and glasses are donated. In addition, seed money came from The Foundation Fighting Blindness and donations in kind come from our partners:
Toronto District School Board , Toronto Foundation for Student Success , Toronto Central LHIN , District A15 Lions Club , University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science , Oxford County Public Health , Timiskaming Public Health , Centre for Excellence in Economical Analysis , Applied Health Research Centre of St. Michael's Hospital , Ontario Association of Optometrists , University of Ottawa medical students (iScreen) , Lambton Public Health .
Can the government afford to implement this programme province-wide?
Part of our research involves an economic analysis. We do not know yet what we shall find but once all costs are counted we expect to see overall savings compared to the status quo. For example:
Who are we?
Neither of us receives any remuneration for this project or stands to benefit from it financially in any other way.
2015-16 (500kB PDF)
Central coordinator: Sally Stafford
Telephones: (1) 844 834 0936 (toll-free)
(1) 647 478 9834 (Toronto)