About optical Prime
optical Prime is both the name of our mobile eye clinic and our vision care program.
It is our solution to provide communities in need with access to quality eye care.
Vision impairment is one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children. With 80% of learning being visual, early detection and treatment of vision impairments plays a significant role in the success of a child’s academic career.
Nationally, 40% of children who fail a vision screening never see an eye doctor. The most common reasons reported by parents are unmanageable cost and lack of transportation. This is where half Helen comes in. By providing services to children directly at their schools, we eliminate the two most common barriers to eye care.
In 2019, half Helen expanded to provide optometry services in the form of a “pop-up” clinic. The half Helen team works with schools to identify children that have failed their vision screening. These students are examined by a board licensed optometrist who provides a comprehensive eye exam and prescription for glasses, when necessary. Clinics are conducted at no cost to the school, students, or their families. At half Helen, we believe that everyone should have access to high-quality eye care.
In May 2021, half Helen launched a mobile tiny house featuring two exam lanes to replace it’s “pop-up” clinics. This upgraded clinic program increases half Helen’s capacity to serve multiple children at once and expand care to additional schools. To learn more about optical Prime’s journey, check out our blog.
State Mandated Screenings
half Helen offers an affordable and comprehensive solution to state-mandated school screenings. Our screening teams are state-certified to conduct both vision and hearing screenings. And thanks to our proprietary swift Screen software, our teams are able to conduct screenings and compile comprehensive reports at the same time saving schools countless hours of work and freeing up health administrators to focus on delivering care to students.
Eye Exams and Glasses
At half Helen, we believe it is not enough to identify a vision problem. Forty percent (40%) of children that fail a vision screening never see an eye doctor due to cost and access to providers. Untreated refractive errors are the leading cause of Amblyopia and blindness in children. By bringing clinics directly to schools, half Helen is able to ensure students have access to the high-quality care they need to reach their full potential.
Austin Achieve has worked with Half Helen for the past six years. The impact of the program is evident every single day. Scholars that receive glasses often see immediate improvements, not only academically, but emotionally as well. For example, we’ve seen student reading levels and their love for reading increase as a result of access to screenings and glasses. Our scholars, teachers, and families love our partnership with Half Helen!
Tiny House, Big Idea
optical Prime, the mobile eye clinic, is a tiny house on wheels which we tow to participating schools to provide vision care services to those who need it most. The clinic features 2 exam lanes containing state of the art optometry equipment. Two exam lanes allow Half Helen to provide care to multiple children at once and ensure that they receive the same quality experience provided by a brick and mortar clinic.
Austin Community Foundation
Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
Lola Wright Foundation
The Harry E. and Eda L. Montandon Charitable Trust
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