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New Bill Expands Vision Screenings for Oregon Students

270-thousand children across Oregon will now get comprehensive vision screening in public school districts and preschools.

In 2017, lawmakers passed a bill to provide $1 million for student vision screenings in public school districts and preschools statewide. Oregon House Bill 5015, passed on July first, doubled the funding to $2 million.

Doug Thompson, executive director of the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation, says they believe the state’s low graduation rate may be due to undetected vision problems.

“This funding will help identify more students that need eyeglasses,” says Thompson. “As a result, more kids will be able to read at grade-level and we believe that will help them continue on a path of academic success.”

According to the Oregon Optometric Physicians Association, 60% of children identified as problem learners have undetected vision problems.

Thompson adds these eye exams will also be useful in diagnosing harder-to-identify vision problems, such as astigmatism.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Amy Brenneman
Amy Brenneman is the 2019 Snowden Intern. She began working in the KLCC News Room June 24, 2019. She recently graduated from University of Oregon with a major in journalism and a minor in anthropology. She loves radio so much, she even made her undergraduate thesis an audio story about paranormal tourism in the United States.