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WesternU, Sight Savers America to provide assistive devices to children with severe visual impairment

by Rodney Tanaka

November 16, 2017

Read 2 mins


Western University of Health Sciences and Sight Savers America are partnering to provide eight children with Freedom Scientific Onyx HD Electronic Video Magnifiers (EVMs) to help them complete schoolwork, see their loved one’s faces and keep up with the academic demands of their fully-sighted peers at school.

“The children who will receive these rehabilitative devices have eye conditions that are not correctable with conventional glasses. Most of them are legally blind. With the use of adaptive technology, they will be able to access regular print materials and participate in classroom activities independently,” said WesternU College of Optometry Chief of Vision Rehabilitation Service Linda Pang, OD, FAAO. “This is the fourth year we have provided this wonderful service, which has enabled us to forever transform the lives of children with impaired vision.”

Sight Savers America purchases the equipment, which is not covered by medical insurance plans, trains the child and their parents to use it, and places it in the homes of these children with severe visual impairment at no cost to the family. Sight Savers America will also provide extensive follow-up care until the child reaches the age of 19 to ensure the equipment is maintained and used properly.

“Sight Savers America and WesternU have a successful long-term partnership that has allowed Los Angeles-area children with low vision to achieve their best possible vision,” said Sight Savers America President & CEO Jeff Haddox. “Children receiving the Onyx electronic video magnifier at this clinic will use this equipment at home to do their homework and many other daily tasks. These children will now be able to maximize the use of their remaining vision to succeed in school and achieve their independence, changing their lives forever.”

The recipients are between the ages of 7 and 16 and live in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Ventura counties. They will receive their EVMs and learn how to use them from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, November 30, 2017 at WesternU’s new Century City Eye Care Institute at 2080 Century Park East Suite 800, Los Angeles, California, 90067.

One recipient of an EVM will be Highland resident Jacob Santiago, who is a patient at WesternU’s Eye Care Institute in Pomona.

“I’m grateful to the doctors at the Eye Care Institute who are trying to help me with my vision impairment,” Jacob said. “I’m excited to soon receive a new electronic video magnifier because I’m sure it will help me with my school work, homework and reading.”

The clinic is made possible by generous funding from: the Karl Kirchgessner Foundation, the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation, the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation, and VFO.

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