About the Program
The goal of the Vision Care Outreach Program is to reduce the incidence of unnecessary vision loss and impairment by providing access to a donated system of comprehensive vision care services for uninsured or underinsured adults and children in Ohio. The Vision Care Outreach program provides this targeted population with eye care services they desperately need, but are not able to access due to a lack of insurance or other vision benefits.
To help Ohioans in need without the means to get an eye exam or glasses, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness partners with a statewide network of volunteer eye doctors and optical companies. Each year we help over 5,000 adults and children to access donated eye care services. The retail value of the donated products and services provided by the vision care community to prevent blindness tops $2 million annually. The role of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is to link donated eye care to all Ohioans in need. For more information on the Vision Care Outreach Program by region review our available VCO fact sheets.
You must be a partner agency to make vision care referrals, contact Karen Stone (614) 464-2020 ext. 116 to learn more.
To learn more about how the Vision Care Outreach Program works, please watch the video below.
Running Time: 37 minutes
Program Fact Sheets
Select one of the fact sheets below to learn more about the social service agencies, eye care providers, and optical industry donors that are working together in the Vision Care Outreach Program.
Vision Care Outreach Program- Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Access the Services of the Vision Care Outreach Program?
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate (PBO) becomes aware of a client’s need for eye care through a statewide network of “partner” agencies–homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, schools, and other social service organizations. When PBO receives notification of a client’s need via our “partner agency”, PBO provides case management for the client and arranges for a donated eye exam from an eye doctor partner. PBO alerts the partner agency and the partner agency assists the client in obtaining transportation to the eye exam and reminders to the client to keep their appointment. If you are already working with a social service organization ask if they are a “partner agency” with Prevent Blindness or call us toll-free at 1-800-301-2020 and we will link you with a partner agency that is close to you
Who is Served by the Vision Care Outreach Program?
The Vision Care Outreach Program Program provides access to comprehensive eye care services for children and adults that meet the following minimum requirements:
- Family income is at or below 200% of the current Federal Poverty Guidelines
- Have not used the program in the last 12 or 24 months (depending on program service requested)
- Does not have access to insurance benefits through Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance or Veterans benefits that carries a vision component, or benefits do not cover needed items such as eyeglasses.
For additional information about the Vision Care Outreach program contact Prevent Blindness at 1-800-301-2020.
Does the Vision Care Outreach Program Serve all Areas of Ohio?
PBO has assembled a system of donated eye care for Ohioans in need that is one of the largest statewide “virtual free clinics” for donated eye care in the United States. We work to ensure that all Ohioans have access to quality eye care through the Vision Care Outreach Program. Our program staff utilize a variety of donated and low cost eye care services, eyeglass providers, and surgical care providers to ensure that individuals qualifying for the Vision Care Outreach Program receive care in a location that is as close to home as possible.
How Can My Social Service Organization / School / Community Health Center use this Program to Serve Our Clients?
Partner agencies benefit from the Vision Care Outreach Program by being able to offer a valuable eye care service to their clients. Partner agencies are typically social service organizations and schools–homeless shelters, soup kitchens, detention centers, drug/alcohol rehabilitation services–that serve clients with multiple challenges in their lives. Often the receipt of eye care can be the key that unlocks potential to secure employment or accelerate learning in school. Prevent Blindness staff works with staff from the partner agency to provide them a program user’s manual, necessary forms, and technical assistance in the client screening and referral process. There is no fee for a social service organization to participate in the program, however there are some responsibilities that are requested of participating organizations. Call us today at 1-800-301-2020 or email us at [email protected] to get started. Partner Agency Responsibilities:
- Screens clients for eye health problems.
- Qualifies client for the program and confirms that individual is at the most current 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines.
- Refers clients needing eye care to PBO.
- Assists client with transportation to eye exam and eyeglass dispensary, if possible.
- Emphasize to the client the importance of keeping their eye exam.
- Completes a partner agency agreement to appoint an advocate to serve as liaison between the client and Prevent Blindness and assist with follow-up eye care for the client.
How can an eye care provider donate goods/services to the Vision Care Outreach Program?
The Vision Care Outreach is able to serve thousands of Ohioans each year through the generosity of our friends in optometry, ophthalmology and in the vision industry. Voluntary donations of eye exams, newly fabricated eyeglasses, frames, and surgical care allows the program to expand its mission to save sight and prevent blindness in Ohioans in need. If you are interested in providing a donation to support the Vision Care Outreach Program contact us at 1-800-301-2020 or email us at [email protected] to learn more about the program and how your support can help to save sight.