Ted’s essays

Kuna Lions vision testing breakthrough

lions-screeningFor many years the Kuna Lions club has been taking a mobile sight and hearing test lab to every primary school in the Kuna area. We screen kids for vision and hearing problems that hamper their ability to learn, not to mention their negative effect on quality of life. Having serious vision or hearing problems in their formative years will completely change how the develop and who they become… as will having them discovered and compensated for.

The Lions also makes sure every person in Kuna who needs hearing or vision tools gets them. We subsidize and give away glasses and hearing aids to all who seek our help. We even help sponsor a Treasure Valley Lions eye bank. Incredibly, replacing eyes and corneas is an old, well-established and highly successful way to bring sight to the blind.

The Kuna Lions club has been testing childrens’ vision with a bank of look in the box, tell me what you see machines. This method requires clear communication between tester and testee, which is sometimes quite challenging. We like doing it and overcoming the challenges is part of the pride and joy we get. However, some kids simply cannot understand what we are asking and others just don’t give us good answers.

Nevertheless, we find that nearly one in four children have previously undiagnosed vision or hearing difficulties. Every day of our week-long semi-annual Kuna testing program, we find one or more kids who, unbeknown to all, sees at 10 feet what most people see at 100 feet! We find kids who cannot see leaves on a tree! and most certainly cannot see any visual displays a school teacher puts at the front of the classroom.

What kind of world would that child be growing up in?

How many children are diagnosed as inattentive when the actual problem is THEY CANNOT SEE what the teacher is wishing them to pay attention TO? How long would YOU pretend to stare attentively at an unintelligible blur? Day after day? I think not.

How many “learning disabilities” are actually hearing or sight disabilities?

lions-logo-1x_0Lions Serve. Like I said, we find it rewarding to deliver these screenings to our Kuna kids.

Technology marches on and the newer tools keep being developed. We have been working fund-raising events for three years with our proceeds ear-marked to buy a new Pedia-Vision eye testing machine. In a few seconds, from three feet away, this device can tell us everything we used to learn and much, much more.

The Breakthrough came a few days ago with a single donation taking us from the half-way point to complete funding! At our last meeting we learned of this and unanimously agreed to order and support the new device As Soon As Possible.

When we begin our 2nd round of testing in a month or so, we will be enjoying a great leap forward in speed, efficiency and reliability.

If you want to help or want more information, contact: [email protected]