A Mason-based organization is helping the world see, one eye exam and pair of glasses at a time. For our annual Thanksgiving issue, we take an eye-opening look into how they’re helping others gain access to eye care at home and abroad.
Mason-based OneSight has one goal: To create a world where lack of access to vision care is no longer a barrier to human achievement.
Today, there are 1.1 billion people in the world who have no access to eye care, whether it be an eye exam or glasses. And OneSight aims to change that as the leading global nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing access to eye care.
“We have a proven model that provides permanent access to vision care and glasses, and we are pioneering new ways to deliver quality vision care to the most remote communities,” says K-T Overbey, President and Executive Director at OneSight. “We believe one’s location and circumstances should not stand in the way of one’s potential.”
And through that, OneSight helps adults find, commute to, and perform better at their jobs, helping them to be as much as 35 percent more product and earn up to 20 percent more each year.
“This cause is more than just a pair of glasses,” says OneSight. “Clear sight helps students learn two times as much and reduces dropout rates by 44 percent.”
OneSight is an independent nonprofit that is aided by thousands of donors, volunteers, partners, and sponsors from around the world. According to OneSight, more than 1,300 volunteers from 48 countries help over 60,000 people around the globe.
In the Cincinnati area, OneSight works closely with the community to provide vision care and glasses to those in need. Whether they’re students or refugees, OneSight has provided access to eye care for thousands of people annually here in the Tri-State.
In fact, OneSight says that this fall alone the organization has provided vision screenings to 23,000 students at 79 schools in the Greater Cincinnati area school districts; it’s opened two new school-based vision centers – Primary Health in Middletown and the Schiff Wellness Center at the Academy of World Languages (AWL); and to-date has opened 15 school-based vision centers, 8 of which are in the Greater Cincinnati area, and plans to open an additional four by the beginning of 2019, providing access to over 500,000 students and community members.
These school-based vision centers allow kids to not have to leave school to get the care they need.
The team at OneSight is comprised of a global team of experts, including local partners, who are working together to solve the problem of access to vision care through two main solutions based on an individual’s needs of every community:
- Charitable Clinics provide free eye exams and glasses to thousands of adults and children where the needs is greatest.
- Self-Sustaining Centers provide permanent access to whole communities through local partnerships including schools across the United States.
One of those Charitable Clinics is here for OneSight. Going on now through November 17 OneSight will be hosting a Charitable Clinic with Xavier University. “Throughout the rest of the United States, we have three additional clinics taking place in December in Sells, Arizona, Chicago, Detroit, as well as our school-based vision centers that run throughout the year,” says Laura Lewis, Director, Global Integrated Marketing at OneSight. “Globally, we are gearing up for our 2019 clinics, which include 100 charitable clinics and the opening of over 20 self-sustaining vision centers.”
OneSight plans to continue its mission of providing access to vision care and glasses around the world, including to the more than 200,000 displaced people living along the Thai-Burma border by 2020.
“We will do this by building capacity and empowering local communities to provide self-sustaining care as well as conducting charitable clinics for people who can’t afford a pair of glasses,” says Lewis. “Just this past month, the OneSight team and volunteers traveled to Thailand to provide free vision care to over 2,000 migrants, refugees, and children along the Thai-Burma border with 1,752 patients receiving glasses.”