Funding for Children’s Vision Screening Restored to Iowa State Budget

In 2017, the Iowa Department of Health cut $1.3 million from its budget, including nearly $100,000 in funding that benefitted the work of Prevent Blindness Iowa in bringing vision screenings to Iowa’s schoolchildren.  Ahead of the 2018 Iowa legislative session, Prevent Blindness and the Fred Hollows Foundation together with their See Now initiative partnered with Prevent Blindness Iowa to build a campaign to shed light on the budget gap and educate lawmakers on the impacts that would occur if the funding was not reinstated.  The Iowa campaign, which launched in January, leveraged opportunities in traditional and social media; grassroots advocacy movements that involved parents, caretakers, and students; and in-person advocacy efforts with state lawmakers to draw attention to the need for children to access vision screenings and eye examinations that would help them succeed in school.  At the end of the legislative session, Prevent Blindness Iowa successfully worked with lawmakers to reinstate the funding and the Governor of Iowa signed the legislation, including the reinstated funding, into law. Congratulations to Prevent Blindness Iowa and our partners at the Fred Hollows Foundation and the See Now initiative for this important advocacy achievement!

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