Eyes are the portals through which we see the world. While some are born with perfect vision, many have vision problems that can develop at a very early age and go unnoticed for years. Missouri State University’s office of citizenship and service-learning (CASL) sponsors a free program to screen infants, children and underserved adults for a range of vision problems.
Kathy Nordyke is the director of citizenship and service-learning at Missouri State.
Undergraduate and graduate service-learning students provide free vision screenings to children 6-months of age through adulthood. Students conduct screenings at many locations and events including local daycare facilities, school districts, the Victory Mission, Salvation Army and the annual HOPE Connection event.
More than 4,000 people have already been screened through the program and about 10 to 11 percent of those screened are identified as needing further evaluation. Those patients are referred to the Vision Rehab Center of the Ozarks, which provides vision services to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.
Wendy Jackson is the executive director of the Vision Rehab Center.
One of the tests checks for color deficiencies. Michael Foster is an associate professor of theatre and dance. He has a red/green color deficiency, but has learned how to be an artist without being able to see all colors.
Missouri State students from several programs are involved in the vision screening program. Carol Daniel is a clinical instructor in the nursing department.
Nordyke said the program is an example of the university’s community engagement.
More information is available at http://www.missouristate.edu/casl