Oakland in Focus
Courtney A. Robinson & Natalia C. Santizo
We are addressing overlooked eye care deficits of Alameda & Contra Costa County students. The goal of our project, "Oakland in Focus," is to uncover undiagnosed vision problems that affect a child’s learning potential. Symptoms of vision related learning differences might not be regularly diagnosed in typical vision screenings due to the ratio a students to time allotted. In elementary school, roughly 80% of a child's learning is through vision. (COVD) Imagine if your child is one of the 5 million children, in the U.S alone, who have vision problems that impact their learning. “20/20” actually only tells us how a child performs at distance and ignores the child's vision at near. It goes without saying that near work is where skills like focusing, coordinating, and tracking (basic motor eye movements) are crucial for learning and normal neurological development. With an astonishing 50% of vision problems missed during typical school vision screenings, our lifetime goal is to refine the typical screening routine by providing adequate education on visual related issues. (COVD) For our project, we partnered with Alameda Contra Costa County Optometric Society (ACCCOS) to provide educational vision workshops for our target population. As well as developing and providing a "draw-with-me" type video illustrating notable signs of commonly missed ocular pathologies to the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) board with the intention of their distribution to school nurses, parents, teachers and students. We also assisted in the installation of a community service requirement and a community health lecture in the UC Berkeley School of Optometry first-year curriculum.