August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month

Back to school season is here! This time of year is filled with orientations, school supply shopping, and new beginnings. When searching for school necessities, remember to add this item to your child's list: an eye exam. August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month.


1 out of every 20 children ages 3 to 5 has a vision problem that could result in permanent vision loss if left untreated, according to Consumer Health Digest, which encourages parents to schedule regular eye exams for children. Early detection is the key, so make a child’s vision health a priority. When a child is unable to recover from vision loss, MAB may be able to help.

Students with visual impairments and blindness are just like any other child because they have typical struggles, but for these students, it’s easy to be left out. They need support to build their confidence and to advocate for themselves – the fight is always there. There are endless needs on how to navigate their surroundings, socialize with their peer group, assimilate to various situations, and participate in their own lives.

MAB’s certified orientation and mobility specialist, Ian Smith, is part of a team that fights for the kids. While teachers, parents, and families are involved in the decision-making, Ian says that kids must have a voice in the decision. Ian has worked for MAB for nearly 25 years, teaching children independent life skills and spending his days with children, from pre-school through high school graduation, who are visually impaired or blind. “When I work with a three-year-old, I am thinking about an 18-year-old, in other words, where is that child going to be in 15 years? We are always preparing for the next step”, says Ian, “and our goal is for every child to be independent.”

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