Mobile Vision Clinic Comes to Springfield Jan. 27

SPRINGFIELD — Perkins School for the Blind, Partners for a Healthier Community Inc. and the state Department of Early Education and Care have partnered with New England College of Optometry (NECO) to host the New England Eye On-Sight Mobile Vision Clinic today, Jan. 27, to provide free eye exams for children 0 to 5 years of age with special needs.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the TD Bank building, 1441 Main St., Springfield. The NECO van will be parked on the Harrison Avenue side of the building, across from Berkshire Bank. An optometrist will be on hand to field any questions on vision services for children.

This event coincides with the EyeSEE (early Screening, Education, Exams) Expansion Workshop taking place at the Department of Early Education and Care in the TD Bank building from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The NECO van event showcases the challenges families of preschoolers, toddlers, and infants face trying to access vision care for their young children.

Vision disorders are the fourth-most-common disability in the U.S. Ten percent of preschool-age children and 25{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of school-age children have a vision problem that requires treatment to support optimal vision development and acuity. Many vision problems can be corrected if diagnosed early enough. Unfortunately, Springfield and Western Mass. experience a huge shortage of pediatric vision providers who will accept children under age 5 and MassHealth insurance.