Society for the Blind is launching mobile low-vision services as part of its effort to meet the growing need for low-vision care in outlying counties throughout Northern California. The mobile clinic was donated by VSP Global, whose mission is to increase access to eye care. The mobile clinic services officially launched today at an event where VSP Global handed over keys to the donated van that will carry the donated mobile eye equipment across the region. Guests at the event heard from Society for the Blind optometrists and other representatives and had the opportunity to view the mobile equipment up close. Patient exams took place all morning.
The launch also kicked off the public phase of Society for the Blind’s Vision 2020 campaign that aims to raise $5 million by 2020 to expand services across the region as the need for low-vision eye care continues to rise. The campaign has raised $3 million toward its efforts to build capacity to reach more rural areas, expand services within the onsite Low Vision Clinic, update infrastructure and launch an endowment.
“There are 100,000 people with low vision living in the Sacramento area, but Society for the Blind is working at capacity serving 6,000 children, adults and seniors each year,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “Through this donation of the mobile clinic and equipment, we can bring our Low Vision Clinc to people in some of the most rural communities in Northern California who would not otherwise be able to travel to Sacramento. This is an example of partnerships we need to make Vision 2020 a reality.”
The van will transport the equipment and the Society for the Blind eye care professionals across the region. VSP Global also donated the mobile low-vision eye exam equipment that will make it possible to expand access to eye care. The mobile clinic will begin services in Sacramento to meet the needs of a long waitlist of patients in the city, and by end of the year will begin traveling up the Highway 99 corridor to bring care to the Redding and Yuba areas. Through the clinic, patients will have access to a Society for the Blind optometrist providing low-vision exams, an occupational therapist and an instructor for in-home trainings. Staff also will conduct outreach to optometrists in the areas where the van is serving.
“VSP Global is honored to support Society for the Blind and their optometrists in increasing access to eye care for those with low vision throughout Northern California,” said Les Passuello, senior vice president at VSP Global and Society for the Blind board member. “We look forward to seeing the new opportunities that Society for the Blind is able to create for individuals living with low vision or blindness.”
For more than 60 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers that included the Lions Clubs of America to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for 6,000 youth, adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to make a donation to the Vision 2020 campaign, visit www.SocietyfortheBlind.org.
As a doctor-governed company, VSP Global® exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. VSP Global’s complementary businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for its 84 million members around the world through a network of 40,000 eye doctors; Marchon® Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services, providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the eye care industry’s largest electronic health records and practice management software company, and VSP Omni-Channel Solutions, which creates connected consumer experiences designed to strengthen the relationship between VSP members and their eye doctors. To date, VSP network doctors have provided eye exams and eyewear at no-cost to over a million people in need through a partnership with VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope®.