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Help For Low Vision



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Help For Low Vision

WEST HARTFORD — Low-income workers and their families may qualify for free eye care through a program called Vision USA that is sponsored by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Connecticut Association of Optometrists.

Close to 7,400 optometrists nationwide and nearly 100 in Connecticut donate their time and professional services to Vision USA each year. In nine years, free eye care has been provided to nearly 262,000 low-income children and adults.

To qualify for a free comprehensive eye examination, a person must have a job or live in a household in which at least one member is working part-time or full-time; have no health insurance that covers eye exams; meet certain income criteria based on household size; and not have had an eye exam at a doctor’s office within the last two years.

Those who qualify for the free eye care will be assigned a volunteer Vision USA optometrist from their area and will be notified by mail at the end of February with the name of the optometrist they are to call for an appointment.

The eye exams are given in the offices of participating doctors during March.

Applicants can be screened for eligibility in one of three ways: by mail, online and by telephone. Mail-in applications are now being accepted and must be postmarked by January 21. Through January, information and an application form are available on the AOA Web site (http://www.aoanet.org) in the Meet the AOA section under the Vision USA icon. During January, applicants may apply by phone using the toll free number 800/766-4466. Lines are open weekdays from 8 am to 10 pm.

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