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Essilor Canada Supports the Special Olympics Opening Eyes Clinics

For Essilor Canada, 2017 marks its fourteenth year of participation in the Opening Eyes clinics of the Special Olympics, a public health program for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Participants are offered visual tests conducted by eye care professionals and given corrective lenses when they need them.

They are among the millions of Canadians who have unmet visual needs that impact their lives, their ability to learn and to perform. At Essilor Canada, we believe that everyone has the right to good vision. Inspired by our mission of Improving life by improving sight, we feel it is our responsibility to contribute to make a difference in the community.

We know that a simple pair of eyeglasses can change the life of people by allowing them to study, work, develop, and contribute to their community. This is the change that Essilor Canada wishes to bring to Special Olympic athletes, as studies show that 68% of them have not had their vision checked in the last 3 years, 37 % need eyeglasses and 18 % wear glasses with a prescription that is not right.

Tom Weissberger, Optician and National Director, Essilor Technologies shares his experience as a volunteer:

“I have been involved since 2004. It has been year after year an amazing experience. It made me realize that although I lived in one of the richest countries in the world, there was a whole segment of society that was completely underserved.”

This year, Essilor Canada has had the pleasure to take part in 6 events, in 5 different provinces: Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Quebec and British Columbia. Overall, 1,118 athletes visited the Opening Eyes clinic and 768 pairs of Essilor prescription lenses were distributed.

These words, from Daniel Granger, Chairman and President, Special Olympics Quebec and Carl Laflamme, Chairman of the board, Société des Jeux d’été OSQ Québec 2017, demonstrate the impact we can have on Canadian’s vision when industry players and partners join forces:

“Thanks to the support of great corporate partners such as Essilor Canada and to the work and availability of more than 100 healthcare professionals, the clinics achieved a record level of participation and were very successful. We would like to extend our sincere thanks for the help Essilor Canada provided our organization to plan and conduct the Opening Eyes clinic. Your team’s expertise and availability and the commitment of all participants greatly enhanced the value of this public health program for people living with intellectual disabilities.”

Samantha Stom-Anthony, Special Olympics Soccer Coach in Regina appreciates Essilor Canada’s efforts to provide the athletes with better access to eye care and good vision:

“Thank you so much for what you do for Special Olympics athletes. Many of my team members live on their own, pay their own way and get no governmental subsidies. The gift of sight that you are providing them, free of charge, is amazing.”

 

Photo caption: An athlete tries sports googles.

 

Click HERE for the full press release.

 

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