Bringing Awareness About Vision Loss to Fifty First Graders at the JOHN THOMAS DYE SCHOOL
The Partners for Pediatric Vision educators, staff and volunteers arrived at the John Thomas Dye School on the morning of May 11, 2022, for the 15th annual Low Vision Awareness Experience as part of the school’s disability sensitivity and philanthropic commitment. It was exciting to be back on the beautiful John Thomas Dye campus after two years of virtual presentations.
Fifty first graders learned what happens during a low vision exam with Gary Asano, OD, how to use a mobility cane, and tried out low vision devices that make learning accessible for children with visual impairment.
Pam and her guide dog, Franklin, returned to the campus this year to educate the students about how guides help navigate situations or obstacles that their owners with visual impairment normally would not be able to do. Some of the fourth and fifth grade students came to greet Franklin and Pam because they remembered them from their own first grade accessibility experience!
At the crafts station, the first graders made brightly colored shapes for our low vision children to create their own story boards. Students wrote a special message of encouragement for the child and enclosed it in the story board kit that will be given to children who receive our services -- all of this while the first grader students wore special eye masks that approximate visual impairments including blurred vision, tunnel vision, blind spots and visual field deficits to experience what it might be like to have permanent vison loss. The first graders were genuinely interested, compassionate, and empathetic in learning about the unique challenges of their peers with less sight. It was truly heartwarming!
The John Thomas Dye School generously donated $2,000 to Partners for Pediatric Vision this year. The John Thomas Dye fund has received donations from individuals and the school since 2017 to help cover the cost of glasses, magnifiers, telescopes and other devices for our families in need who cannot afford them. These donations can change the trajectory of a child’s life by giving them the critical tools they need for learning and independence. Many children and families have been touched by the generosity of The John Thomas Dye fund.
Partners for Pediatric Vision services fulfill the need for a link between healthcare, education and support for families of children with visual impairment. Our Vision Educators partner with eye doctors who provide exams to under-served, low-income children to work with families in greatest need. We are proud to be a part of the disability sensitivity and philanthropic commitment at the John Thomas Dye School by sharing our education and message that hope is in sight.
Please visit our donate page to contribute to The John Thomas Dye fund that is Keeping Kids in Sight: www.partnersforpediatricvision.org/donate
Derek receiving a dome magnifier paid for with John Thomas Dye funds to help him read by reducing the visual challenges caused by his diagnosis of Albinism.