Vision Screening

Vision screening is a series of tests that identifies risk factors for certain vision disorders.

Public Health has partnered with Lions Clubs in Niagara and the Med Plus program at Brock University to offer a vision screening program. This program falls under the Ontario Public Health Standards, 2018.

It's a free service offered to all senior kindergarten students attending elementary schools in Niagara.

Parents / guardians of the students will receive a pre-screening letter before the screening date at their child’s school. Results and next steps will be provided to the parents / guardians of the students.

Vision Screening is Important

Children who have trouble seeing may struggle to learn and take part in activities at school. They often don't know they have vision problems, so many issues can go unnoticed and untreated.

If untreated, some vision problems may affect a child’s vision for life. Screening is important for early detection of possible issues.

Eye Doctor Visits

The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommend children visit an eye doctor at:

  • Six months of age
  • Two to three years of age
  • Every year following

Eye doctors can complete an eye exam even if a child isn't speaking in full sentences.

An eye exam is needed to diagnose vision problems and to make sure eyes are developing properly. Vision screening doesn't replace your child's regular exam with an eye doctor.

The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers the cost of an eye exam every 12 months for anyone under the age of 20 with a valid OHIP card. Find an eye doctor near you.

Financial Assistance for Prescription Glasses

The following programs may assist you with the cost of prescription glasses.

  • Eye See…Eye Learn® – Children in junior kindergarten are eligible for a free pair of prescription glasses through this program.
  • Ontario Works – Families receiving support from Ontario Works can contact their local Ontario Works office for more information on getting support for vision care costs.
  • Ontario Disability Support Program Vision Care Benefit – Families receiving support from Ontario Disability Support Program, and don't have vision care coverage under OHIP, may be able to get help with vision care costs.
  • Non-Insured Health Benefits Program – This program provides eligible clients (First Nations and Inuit) coverage for vision care benefits not available under other federal, provincial, territorial or private health insurance.
  • Interim Federal Health Program – This program provides limited, temporary coverage of health care benefits, including vision, to resettled refugees, refugee claimants and certain other groups who aren't eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance.
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