BOSTON, Mass.--Optometry Giving Sight is challenging all U.S. optometrists to donate the fees from their eye exams on "World Sight Day" which is scheduled for Oct. 11, 2007 in order to help the estimated 13 million children who are blind or vision impaired primarily because they do not have access to an eye exam and a pair of glasses.

From left, Pamela Capaldi, Barry Weiner OD, Alyssa Harvey and Chantal Laroche discussed the objectives of World Sight Day (scheduled for October 11, 2007) with other attendees at the recent AOA Optometry’s Meeting in Boston.

The Optometry Giving Sight organization also hopes that staff, patients and students will also support the campaign by signing up to a single or monthly donation of as little as $5.

According to Professor Brien Holden, CEO of Optometry Giving Sight, $5 is enough to provide an eye exam, pair of glasses and training for local staff in countries that lack eyecare services.

Optometry Giving Sight is currently fundraising to support three priority programs. These include: "Giving Sight to Blind Children, eliminating refractive blindness in children in East Africa; "Vision for a Country," the national refractive error program for South Africa, and Vision Care Service Development in Sri Lanka."

Optometry Giving Sight is a global campaign in support of the goals of Vision 2020: The Right to Sight. Its aim is to galvanize support from optometrists, their patients, associations, industry partners and corporations, to raise funds for projects directed towards the elimination of uncorrected refractive error and helping those with permanent low vision. It was formed in 2003 as a joint initiative of the World Optometry Foundation (WOF), the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE).

Stuart Bark, OD, and David Kaplan, OD, are both doctors in the Family EyeCare Associates practice in Scottsdale, Ariz. Dr. Bark is encouraging all his colleagues to take the challenge--last year, he donated his exam fees from World Sight Day for a total of nearly $5,000.

Global sponsors and platinum national sponsors in the U.S. include CIBA Vision and Institute for Eye Research. National in-kind sponsor is Vision Source. Silver national sponsors include Allergan and Signet Armorlite, and national sponsors in Canada include Viscon and Centennial.

More information is available at 1-888-OGS-GIVE, via email at usa@givingsight.org or at the Web site www.givingsight.org.