Volunteer Aid Optometry
OPTOMETRY GIVING SIGHT
eliminate global blindness or visual impairment due to
uncorrected refractive error – simply the lack of an eye exam and a pair of glasses.
We donate two dollars from every pair of complete new glasses ordered to help finance projects in remote parts of Australia
and in countries like East Timor and India to supply glasses directly to people in need, as well as helping to finance programs
to train local people in underdeveloped countries in Ophthalmic care.
We also have a collection box for ‘old’ glasses at each practice. These pre-loved glasses are used in overseas aid programs, so bring in any old glasses gathering dust in a drawer at home!
Sue is a past member of the National Committee of OGS.
These programs provide eye care, including free glasses, to underprivileged people in remote areas of rural India
where access to routine health services is very limited. Sue has seen first hand on her trips the incredible difference
a pair of glasses can make to the lives of people who would otherwise be functionally “blind”.
Several of our staff have accompanied Sue on these trips including current Optical Technician Stephanie,
past receptionist and now Optometry student Michelle, Sue and Greg’s daughter Lacey and son Daniel.
They have all found it a to be an incredibly rewarding and humbling experience.
Equal Health is a secular non-government organization based in Perth. It was established in 1996 by Paul Clarke, an optical dispenser, initially just as a spectacle aid program, but the organization expanded rapidly and health aid is now provided in the optical, dental, general medical, ophthalmology and allied health disciplines.
During each annual camp Equal Health delivers around 6,000 pairs of new pre-made glasses at no cost to people in rural India.
The glasses used in the program are manufactured at Perth’s Casuarina prison by long-serving inmates who have been trained in optical dispensing by volunteers from within the optical profession.
New spectacle frames are donated each year from retail and wholesale optical companies around Australia.
Everyone seems to benefit from this partnership; Equal Health would otherwise never be able to afford to purchase the frames or pay the cost of having the lenses fitted, the prisoners feel good about contributing to a worthy cause, and the recipients of the glasses are over the moon with their new eyewear!
OTHER VOLUNTEER OPTOMETRY AID GROUPS
Sue has also been to East Timor with the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE – now know as the Brien Holden Vision Institute) and to Papua New Guinea with the YWAM Medical Ship, and she has just returned from a trip to Laos with Global Hand in late November/early December 2015.
Each of these camps has been immensely rewarding, with many of the people receiving their first ever pair of glasses – a life-changing experience for some.