The Children's Vision Massachusetts Coalition's 2017 Children's Vision Advocacy Day was held on October 18 at the Grand Staircase and Great Hall of Flags, Massachusetts State House. Over 150 people attended the event with 50 advocates making afternoon visits to 55 legislators and legislative staff. By sharing personal stories and professional expertise, the advocates sent a strong message regarding the Coalition's lead ask, H3224/S1219 to establish a children's vision screening registry and special commission to study childhood vision and eye health, the next step to a comprehensive, universal, statewide, Children's Vision Health Program.
The focus of “Vision and Learning: Making the Connection,” was the recently published NIH-funded research study “Uncorrected Hyperopia and Pre-School Literacy: Results of vision in preschoolers- hyperopia in preschoolers,” which reports a significant correlation between the status of a young child’s vision health and his or her ability to acquire early literacy skills. The programs included presentation of these findings and discussion of how to respond to them from a clinical, educational, and policy perspective. In addition, recognition awards were presented to organizations and institutions dedicated to the Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition’s vision that all children have the opportunity to develop their best possible vision.