News Feature: Lions club continues giving light to visually-impaired persons

SAN FERNANDO CITY, May 9 (PIA) — Visually-impaired persons may still see the light under the Sight-First Program (SFP) of the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF).

Since 1990, the SFP has helped restore eyesight of more than 30 million people around the world.

The LCIF said that more than $200 million had been invested in surgeries, improvement of hundreds of eye care facilities and training thousands of eye care professionals.

The program has supported sustainable rehabilitation and education projects that develop infrastructure, deliver eye care services and train personnel in underserved communities.

The LCIF, in partnership with Perkins International, Resources for the Blind, Inc. and Parent Advocates for Visually Impaired Children (PAVIC), launched the “Inclusive Education for Children with Visual Impairment” (IECVI) in 2011 in Luzon.

According to the LCIF, the project is aimed at increasing access to education by way of capacity-building of educators and school administrators and creating awareness within the school communities.

The project seeks to support parents and groups advocating for increased services and improved local and national policies.

The LCIF said that more than 1,400 students have received services in the year the program started while some 153 students were given clinical low vision assessments.

A total of 198 children re-enrolled in school through the Zero Dropout Rate program and 78 new schools that offered inclusive classrooms because of the Sight First’ training programs.

In the same year, at least 38 teachers participated in the university teacher training program, 108 school administrators who took part in Administrators orientation and 649 teachers and administrators attended the National Teachers Congress on Visual Impairment.

The PAVIC has trained 363 parents to help them develop an understanding of their children’s strengths and needs as well as skills to support their children’s learning.

Public schools nationwide were also given 732 textbooks in Braille nearly doubling the target and produced 391 books with tactile graphics using Braille, thermoform and swell papers.

The foundation said that parents whose children suffer from visual impairment may go to IECVI Grand Administrator Ralph Asuncion at Bethany Hospital, Inc. in San Fernando City in La Union to seek assistance. (MCA/MHH PIA1 La Union)#

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