Opening Eyes

Opening Eyes works to improve the quality of life for the millions of individuals diagnosed with ID by optimizing their vision, eye health and visual skills through quality eye care.

Through a grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, the partnership of Special Olympics and Lions Clubs International is dramatically expanding the effort’s scope.

Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes provides:

  • Vision screenings, refractions and dispensing of appropriate eyewear (prescription eyewear, sunglasses and sports goggles) to Special Olympics Indiana athletes
  • Education to athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of regular eye care
  • Permanent changes in the attitudes of eye care professionals about the vision care needs of persons with intellectual disabilities worldwide
  • Increased knowledge of visual and eye health needs of persons with intellectual disabilities through research


Opening Eyes screenings throughout the US have found that a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes have untreated eye conditions.

  • 35% need new prescription glasses
  • 15% have an eye disease
  • 5% have never had an eye exam