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Vision 20/20

Revolutionary Child-to-Child Vision Screening

Childhood vision challenges are frequently overlooked and critical to the success of our children. We provide intuitive tools for in-classroom vision screening.

The Vision 20/20 Project is a multi-disciplinary research collaboration between occupational therapy and product design at Otago Polytechnic, the School of Medicine (ophthalmology) at Otago University, and staff and pupils at Tahuna Normal Intermediate School.

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Vision 20/20

Vision 20/20 is an intuitive vision screening toolkit for teachers, parents and school students.

Eighty percent of human learning requires vision. Over half of our brain is dedicated to vision and visual processing. Even small deficits in vision can seriously impact the academic, behavioural, and sporting performance of our children. Failing to identify early visual challenges is failing our children.

The Vision 20/20 project began in 2019 to address the need for improved vision screening for school children. In New Zealand, child eyesight screening is not currently mandatory. Children are screened in Year 7 and there are regular challenges with student absences, testing results failing to reach parents, and teachers going completely uninformed of the screening results of their students.

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Our primary goal is to raise awareness about systematic student vision screening deficiencies and the critical role vision plays for all students in their classrooms and daily lives. We encourage children to take what they learn about their vision home to their parents. We support parents in understanding available resources and the process of bringing their kids to an optometrist. Results are both sent home to parents and recorded into the school database. Our project aims to ensure that 100% of Year 7 children have their vision tested and obtain glasses if necessary; removing any visual impairment barriers that are preventing them from participating fully in their school and home life.

Our resources should be used to teach school children about human vision science and eye health. We have integrated the vision screening toolkit into a teaching package called the “Vision Health Module”. Child-to-child vision screening, in the context of teaching about vision and eye health, ensures that the conversation about vision is one that is owned by the teacher and the pupil. Combining in-classroom screening with vision teaching modules empowers and engages children, making learning directly relevant and hands-on.

We decided to do something to help. The Vision 20/20 Project offers an accessible and intuitive toolkit for child-to-child vision screening; kids can screen each other's vision in the classroom!

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Eyesight Resources

Tools for the Classroom

We've created easy, intuitive kits to put vision screening and eyesight testing into the hands of students and teachers. Help us to correct one overlooked vision issue at a time!

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Vision Health Module

The Vision Health Module is a ready-made teaching package for Year 7 teachers to implement in their classrooms, over six separate sessions. It incorporates the New Zealand science and health curricula and necessitates minimal preparation from teachers.

Child-to-Child Vision Testing

This toolkit enables children to screen each other’s vision in the classroom or at home. We aim to raise awareness about the need for good vision in the classroom among children and teachers. Hopefully, children will take these messages home and encourage their parents to bring them to an optometrist if necessary.

Eye Health Supporting Materials

Explore additional downloadable resources designed to support child-to-child vision screening, aid classroom learning, and drive better understanding of human vision.

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How the child-to-child vision screening toolkit works:

Students work in small groups and take turns administering, recording results, and being screened. The student administering the screen stands 4 metres from the testee, holding up a chart and reading out the instructions for each test. The recorder watches the responses of the person being tested and uses a tick sheet that corresponds to the testing chart. The pages of the chart and the record sheets are colour-coded to ensure easy accuracy.

The toolkit has two vision screens for students to complete – a high-contrast vision test and a low-contrast vision test. We use a ‘tumbling E’ acuity test, which means the person being tested simply has to point to the direction the limbs of the E are facing – up, down, left, or right. The tumbling E also shows how the eye is behaving when it is reading key information.

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How does it work?

View our short overview video.

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How it works (continued):

The Vision 20/20 project provides an authentic context for learning and gives authentic context for teaching children about the concept of 'fair testing'. Two of the classroom components – looking at the eye and eye health and simulations that demonstrate how certain eye conditions can affect vision – align with general health and physical education curriculum.

Working through our eye screening and learning modules can help students to develop science capabilities in gathering data and interpreting results using evidence. By making eyesight education commonly available, Vision 20/20 hopes to create a supportive environment for students to get the help they need and to reduce any stigma about wearing eyeglasses.

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Contact Vision 20/20

C/O Otago Polytechnic, 
Forth Street, Dunedin 9014

+64 021 835 163

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