Sydenham & District Lions | Nov 11, 2015

Twelve members from the Sydenham and Verona Lions clubs and three volunteers recently completed vision and hearing screening of approximately 200 senior kindergarten and Grade 1 students at Harrowsmith, Loughborough, and Prince Charles Public Schools, and St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

For the past eight years, the local Lions clubs have conducted this screening of the youngest students at the start of the school year in order to detect any vision or hearing issues early. It is estimated that one in six children has a vision problem. For young students, to optimize their learning and school experience, it is critical that vision and hearing issues are detected early.

The vision screening consists of three fun visual stations that check both eyes for distance, depth perception and alignment. Hearing is screened with a sound test of both ears. The child wears headphones and is asked at increasingly lower audio levels to point to various pictures.

The results from both screening tests are sent home to the child’s parents/caregivers the same day. If the child’s results fall below the prescribed level, a recommendation is made that the child have a complete examination by a vision or hearing specialist. Parents are reminded that annual eye examinations for school-aged children by a vision specialist are covered by OHIP.

The Lions screening program is free. The expensive vision and hearing equipment was purchased by the Lions with community fund raising and is circulated to various Lions clubs to conduct screening at more than 50 local schools.

While most of the Lions screening volunteers are retired, the younger volunteers juggle their work schedules to be available for the school day screenings. Many of the Lions are grandparents who themselves have vision and hearing issues and have personal stories of struggling in school due to those problems. They understand first hand the importance of correcting vision and hearing issues early.

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