College of Optometrists in Vision Development Promotes August is Vision & Learning Month: A Back to School Comprehensive Eye Exam can Catch what School Screenings Miss

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Annual campaign promotes awareness of vision problems that can go undetected and cause struggle in school

COVD's August is Vision & Learning Month Campaign highlights the connection between a child's vision and ability to learn.

One in ten children in America—over 5 million in all—has a vision problem significant enough to impact their ability to learn in school.

Upholding a yearly tradition since 1995, state and local governments across the United States are issuing proclamations that August is Children’s Vision & Learning Month, as promoted by the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). The purpose of this annual campaign is to highlight the connection between vision and learning, the importance of early detection of vision problems, and the necessity of a back to school comprehensive eye exam with a developmental optometrist.

One in ten children in America—over 5 million in all—has a vision problem significant enough to impact their ability to learn in school. While the typical school vision screening may give students a ‘perfect’ grade of 20/20, this test only tells one thing: how well they can see at a distance. An estimated 80% of learning occurs through a child’s eyes and seeing the chalkboard clearly is only one small part of this. It takes many other behavioral visual skills to achieve success in the classroom, including focusing, tracking smoothly along lines of text, and coordinating eyes to work together. Parents can use the Locate a Doctor tool at to find a developmental optometrist in their area who will conduct an examination more in-depth than a school screening and ensure their child is starting the school year ready to succeed.

“The narrow scope of in-school vision screenings means that at least 50% of vision problems can go undetected,” says Dr. Barry Tannen, President of COVD. “Children whose vision problems are undiagnosed and untreated may suffer for years with headaches, poor reading comprehension, and even symptoms that can be misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD, being labeled as lazy or difficult by no fault of their own.”

Fortunately, many of these vision problems are treatable with a drug-free and effective program of optometric vision therapy. Much more than “eye exercises,” vision therapy uses a variety of in-office techniques and at-home activities to train the eyes and brain to work together. The effectiveness of vision therapy for improving learning is well-documented by research.

The 2016 August is Vision & Learning Month campaign is also highlighting success stories from past and current VT patients. Be sure to visit COVD's blog Mindsight to read more about how these patients began and successfully completed a therapy regimen.

Help COVD raise awareness that August is Vision & Learning Month by:

  • Urging parents to have their children evaluated for learning-related vision problems with a developmental optometrist, found at, before heading back to school
  • Liking the COVD Facebook Page and sharing info posted there about the connection between vision and learning
  • Sharing campaig blog posts added twice weekly throughout August on Tuesdays and Fridays
  • Learning more about the campaign and past campaigns’ efforts at the Vision & Learning Month webpage

About COVD
The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals including optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists. Established in 1971, COVD provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. These specialized vision care services develop and enhance visual abilities and correct many vision problems in infants, children, and adults. Vision care provided by all COVD members is based on the principle that vision can be developed and changed. COVD’s Mission: Improving lives by advancing excellence in optometric vision therapy and rehabilitation through education and board certification.

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Pamela R. Happ, MSM, CAE
since: 07/2009
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College of Optometrists in Vision Development
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