Keeping Eye On Vision Problems

NSW Nationals

Steph Cooke has worn glasses since she was three.

Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is calling on primary schools across the electorate to take part in the Lions Eye Health Program.

This vital initiative provides free eye screenings for students – something that’s very close to Ms Cooke’s heart.

“I’ve worn glasses since I was three, after my mother picked up on some subtle signs that I was having vision difficulties. She was teaching at the time, and so was able to compare some of my behaviours with those of other students who were having similar problems.

“She then took me off to the optometrist who confirmed her suspicions, and I am forever grateful for this early intervention, without which – I have no doubt – my life would have gone down a very different path.”

Ms Cooke said vision problems can affect learning and overall well-being, and can significantly impact a child’s ability to participate in school activities.

“When you consider that close to one-in-five children have an undetected vision problem, programs like this are just so vitally important in detecting and addressing eye health concerns early, and ensuring that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Ms Cooke said.

Lions Club of Young Secretary, Stuart Freudenstein, said screenings have recently been carried out at Trinity Catholic School in Murrumburrah, with Boorowa Central School next on the growing list of schools putting up their hand for the screenings.

“We visit the schools ahead of time and work with them to find a suitable spot for the screenings, which involve tests around shape and colour recognition, a special 3D test, as well as a special camera that helps assess eye health,” Mr Freudenstein said.

“Based on the test results, we are then able to provide advice to the school and to parents on whether students should visit an optometrist for further assessment,” he said.

Ms Cooke said she is proud to offer her support to the program, and is incredibly grateful to the dedicated volunteers from the Lions Club of Young who are making it possible.

“My goal is to have this program rolled-out in every primary school across our Cootamundra electorate,” Ms Cooke said.

“By participating in the Lions Eye Health Program, schools can ensure that every student has access to essential vision screenings, and I urge all schools right across the electorate to take advantage of this invaluable program,” she said.

Schools interested in participating in the Lions Eye Health Program can contact [email protected]

/Public Release. View in full here.