Opening Eyes® helps improve the quality of life for Special Olympics athletes by optimizing their vision, eye health and visual skills through quality eye care.

In addition to exams for athletes, the Opening Eyes discipline works on educating athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of regular eye care. Special Olympics athletes who participate in an Opening Eyes exam may be fitted for new eyeglasses or sports goggles at no cost to the athlete.

Impact

Opening Eyes examinations indicate a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes have untreated eye problems.

Out of SONJ athletes screened:

  • 47.2% need new prescription glasses
  • 13.1% have an eye disease
  • 4.8% have never had an eye exam

Available Screenings

Opening Eyes events are offered at Summer Games. Through the generosity of Special Olympics International corporate sponsors Essilor and Safilo, athletes have the option to choose from a selection of free eyewear after completing the 12-step visual exam. Education is provided to help emphasize the importance of vision to the performance of athletes in sports, school and work.

Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in volunteering for Opening Eyes? SONJ is looking for optometrists, opticians, ophthalmology residents, ophthalmic technician, ophthalmologists, optometry students, Lion/Leo club members, and students in this field to help athletes receive proper eye care.

Criteria for Clinical Director

Please view the below document if you are interested in becoming an Opening Eyes Clinical Director.

Opening Eyes Clinical Director Fact Sheet

Current Clinical Directors: Margaret Facey-Campbell, OD; Vittorio Mena Jr., OD, MS; Bruce Meyer, OD, FCOUD

Contact

If you are interested in becoming involved in our Opening Eyes screening events, please contact Katelyn Sheridan at krs@sonj.org.