Our Programs

Friends for Sight works passionately each day to save sight and change lives.

We do this by providing free vision screenings, working to ensure that people of all ages and backgrounds have access to quality eye care, and disseminating information about eye safety, threats to vision, and available community resources.

What We Do

Free Screenings for Childhood Vision Disorders

Friends for Sight's vision screenings are an effective, low-cost method for assessing vision disorders such as Amblyopia, Strabismus, and refractive errors. These issues affect all aspects of young lives, negatively impacting a child's ability to learn, play, and develop. 

Screenings for Adult Vision Disorders

Glaucoma is a prevalent and preventable eye disease that causes blindness primarily in adults. With a simple test to measure eye pressure, screening participants can be alerted to this potential problem. Each year, Friends for Sight staff and volunteers screen over 6,000 adults for visual acuity and eye pressure abnormalities.

Friends for Sight Vision Clinics

The Friends for Sight Vision Clinics are located in the Glendale-Mountain View Community Learning Center (1388 Navajo Steet) and Liberty Community Learning Center (1085 South 300 East). The support these clinics provide are a tremendous asset to these vibrant, diverse, and often under-served communities.

Working with volunteer Optometrists and Ophthalmologists who provide free professional eye exams for those without resources for vision exams, many students have been able to see an Eye Care Professional for the first time, and receive prescription glasses at no cost. Eleven percent of the children seen have been diagnosed with vision disorders that need advanced care. This is an incredible opportunity to be sure that the people in these Communities and surrounding areas are not only being screened, but also have an opportunity for eye exams, glasses and further care if needed. We know that vision care is a luxury for many in this area, and providing this level of support will prevent many cases of blindness.

SightFest

Through an unprecedented collaboration between Friends for Sight, Essilor Vision Foundation and Utah Optometric Association, SIGHTFEST, a major initiative to help Utah children get the vision care that they desperately need to succeed both in and out of the classroom, is underway.

Working with local school districts, SIGHTFEST Outreach events will provide free eye exams and glasses to children whose families cannot afford vision care and do not qualify for other programs like Medicaid. Each day of service will allow up to 125 students in need to receive a free eye exam and glasses at a location close to school.  

Frequently asked questions click here.

ABOUT ESSILOR VISION FOUNDATION

Essilor Vision Foundation is a public non-profit charity established by Dallas-based Essilor of America, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States. The foundation’s mission is to achieve better life through better sight by creating and supporting activities that advance good vision and its benefits and offering special help to those who need it most.

ABOUT UTAH OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATION

The mission of Utah Optometric Association is to promote the highest professional standards and to assure that the delivery of vision care will be the finest available to patients and citizens of Utah.

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Eye Safety Education

Eye safety education has been a central goal of Friends for Sight since its inception. Every month we highlight aspect of Eye Safety or Eye Heath.

Advocacy

Friends for Sight work closely with community partners to ensure that every Utahn has access to free vision screening and quality eye care when needed. Working with state agencies, school nurses, health care providers and community groups, we forge partnerships and continually focus on the importance of screenings to save sight and change lives.

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Importance of What We Do

Vision disorders are the most prevalent disabling condition for children in the United States—and most can be corrected.

This morning, 10,300 Utah children woke up with Amblyopia, a vision disorder that, if not treated, leads to blindness. The problem is, they don't know it. Their parents don't either. Amblyopia is easily identified through a simple screening process. With timely medical treatment, a child's sight can be fully restored and a life is forever changed.

Early detection of vision impairments is vital to a child's sense of self, ability to socialize, and success in school.

An estimated 58,000 children in Utah alone struggle in school due to poor eyesight, and only half of those children who need vision correction receive it. The impact of poor eyesight on school performance is profound. In fact, many children with poor eyesight show some of the same behavioral problems as those who are ultimately diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorders. With timely diagnosis from a professional, marked improvement in all aspects of young lives is possible with vision correction.

The price of vision loss and blindness continues throughout adulthood.

The total economic burden resulting from eye disorders in the United States last year was an estimated $139 billion. Loss of sight impacts our ability to work, to stay active, and to contribute to our community in meaningful ways. Vision disorders like Glaucoma affect more adult Americans than ever before. With early treatment, the vision loss impact of Glaucoma can be contained.

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Spotlight

  • “I cannot thank you enough for the screening you did at my daughter's preschool last October. I am exponentially grateful that we already know her eyes need extra help to make reading possible. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!"

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