Children with vision problems often go undiagnosed until they start school, and delayed diagnosis can lead to lasting vision problems and developmental delays. Nearly 15% of children between the ages of 3 and 5 have a vision problem that requires glasses.
Annual vision screenings for preschoolers can help find vision problems while their eyes are still developing, and some vision disorders can be reversed if treated before age 5. In Oregon, the legislature requires that all children entering public school for the first time show proof of a vision screening.
Thanks to a grant from the Oregon State Elks Association and Elks volunteers, the Oregon Elks Children's Eye Clinic at OHSU Casey Eye Institute provides free vision screenings for preschoolers all over the state. We partner with Head Start programs and public libraries to prevent vision loss in children by screening over 8,000 kids annually, referring over 700 kids every year to an eye doctor to be checked for a potential vision problem.
Using photo screening technology--a scientifically proven screening method for preschool children--the children’s eyes can be measured instantly and results are available immediately. If needed, the screener can recommend that a child be referred to a specialist.
Information for vision screeners
Check out these resources if you are a vision screener with our program.
Vision Screening Program team
Joannah Vaughan, M.B.A.: An Instructor of Ophthalmology, Vaughan is the founder and director of the Preschool Vision Screening Program. Since 2003, Vaughan has developed and managed the screening program, which currently screens over 8,000 preschool children each year. She frequently conducts training for OHSU and University of Portland nursing students, Portland Community College ophthalmic technicians, the Oregon Head Start State Association and statewide community health clinics. Vaughan has presented vision screening research at international conferences, including the World Ophthalmology Congress, the American Academy of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, and at the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Follow up coordinator
Talitha Dale: Dale is responsible for managing the team contacting families when their child has been referred for a dilated vision exam. Before beginning at the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program, Dale worked at Linn County DHS with child protective services. Her experience with DHS has been a great asset in understanding the needs of a family enrolled in the Head Start Program. She also oversees our data collection process and help develop presentations and papers reporting the results of the Oregon preschool vision screening experience. Dale has assisted with research presentations at AAPOS 2011 and 2012; AAO in 2011; WOC Berlin in 2010; ARVO 2009 and 2012; AAP 2013.
Bethany Lang: Lang joined the Elks Children’s Eye Clinic Preschool Vision Screening Program in May 2014. Prior to this position, Lang worked for the Hilton Corporation as an event coordinator, establishing a strong background in organization, event planning and a passion for helping others. Lang schedules screenings for the Head Start preschools and See to Read program with Oregon libraries.
Follow Up Assistant
Jeanne Morehouse: Morehouse is a former educator, having taught preschool, kindergarten and other elementary school levels. Morehouse joined the vision screening program team in June 2014 as a vision screener, where she provides training to Head Start locations and public libraries for See to Read events.
Vision screening research assistant
Daniel: After graduating from UCLA with a degree in statistics and Mexican Studies, Daniel brings to the program a desire to help the Spanish-speaking community through follow-up and research. Daniel is a bilingual follow-up coordinator, assisting parents in making pediatric eye exams and providing necessary resources for treatment. In addition, Daniel assists with statistical analysis for research of quality control of photo screening devices.
The Preschool Vision Screening Program conducts research about eye health and preschool children in Oregon. Learn more.