August 23, 2012

VEI clinic seeks to meet low-vision needs of area children

Nearly 50 patients will come to the Vanderbilt Eye Institute this weekend to take part in a special clinic for school-age children with low-vision needs.

PAVE (Providing Access to the Visual Environment) provides clinical low-vision evaluations, prescribed optical devices, instruction and follow-up as well as technical assistance for eligible youth ages 3-21 in Tennessee.

The clinic runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Low-vision impairment is a reduction in vision due to some kind of ocular disease, not correctable with glasses, surgery or contact lenses. Low vision is eyesight in the range of 20/70 to 20/8000.

Since 1994, the Tennessee Department of Education has funded the clinic via a nearly $1 million grant.

To date, more than 1,000 children have been helped through the program.

“This grant allows us to fill a critical need in the community,” said Jeffrey Sonsino, O.D., FAAO, principal investigator of the grant.

“The real power with this program is that we have a true multidisciplinary team made up of educational experts and eye care professionals.”

This is the first of three clinics funded by the grant.