As part of their ongoing support of Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes (Opening Eyes), CooperVision, Optometry Giving Sight, and other partners helped to provide close to 2,000 vision screenings for Special Olympics athletes and clinical training for 79 eye care professionals (ECPs) and students at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games (USA Games) in Orlando.
Opening Eyes is one of seven Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® screenings that was offered at the USA Games. The screenings offer athletes free vision and eye health screenings on-site and, if necessary, prescription eyewear and sports goggles to improve the vision of the athletes on the playing field and beyond.
In addition, all ECPs and optometry students who screened athletes at the USA Games received a clinical training to better understand how to meet the unique needs of people with intellectual disabilities—not only at the USA Games but back home at their optometry practices.
“Our participation at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games was a truly meaningful way to see this partnership come to life. It is a privilege to provide vision care services that have the potential to make a marked impact on the lives of these athletes,” said Michele Andrews, OD, Vice President, Professional & Government Affairs, CooperVision. “We look forward to further collaboration with Optometry Giving Sight and the Special Olympics Opening Eyes program to conduct more screenings and help raise awareness about the importance of inclusive vision care.”
“The partnership with CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight allows us to reach and train more eye care professionals and students on adapted health and vision screenings for people with intellectual disabilities. On behalf of Special Olympics athletes, I salute the leadership that CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight provides to bring inclusion to our communities around the world.” Said Dr. Alicia Bazzano, Chief health Officer, Special Olympics.
Last year, CooperVision and Optometry Giving Sight announced a $150,000 commitment through 2023 to support Opening Eyes in providing vision screenings, training of ECPs, and education resources—including videos that teach athletes and their families about various aspects of eye care, and how to care for glasses and contact lenses.
Since its founding in 2001, Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes has conducted more than 440,000 screenings, provided over 260,000 prescription eyeglasses and sport goggles to people with intellectual disabilities, and offered practical training opportunities for more than 53,000 ECPs and optometry students around the world.
CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of contact lenses. The company produces a full array of daily disposable, two-week and monthly soft contact lenses that feature advanced materials and optics, and premium rigid gas permeable lenses for orthokeratology and scleral designs. CooperVision has a strong heritage of addressing the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, childhood myopia, and highly irregular corneas; and offers the most complete portfolio of spherical, toric, and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit www.coopervision.com.
CooperCompanies (“Cooper”) is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE (NYSE:COO). Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to developing a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical is committed to advancing the health of women, babies and families with its diversified portfolio of products and services focusing on medical devices and fertility & genomics. Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., Cooper has a workforce of more than 12,000 with products sold in over 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.coopercos.com.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics fosters acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with them on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedInand our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.