Vision USA

New Eyes for the Needy – Free Prescription Glasses

February 4, 2013

Eye glasses and Snellen chart

Back in November, we announced that we partnered with Vision USA to help eligible individuals apply for ophthamology check-ups at no cost to Brooklyn residents.

We are pleased to announce that, along with Vision USA, we have also partnered with New Eyes for the Needy to help low-income community members without health insurance obtain free professional eye examinations and free prescription glasses.

In collaboration with Vision USA and New Eyes for the Needy, our Vision Assistance Program makes receiving free eye healthcare possible for those in need. We are the only organization authorized to offer Vision USA services in Brooklyn.

How does this program work? During our monthly in-house screenings, clinical volunteers will continue to offer the routine Snellen eye checks but if they find that the community member needs prescription glasses, they will assist them in applying forprofessional follow-up through Vision USA, where they can obtain a free basic eye exam and lenses prescription. Both programs require community members to fulfill certain qualifications, including income levels and health insurance status. Immigrants who are unable to participate in the Vision USA program may qualify alternatively for the New Eyes program, given that they obtain a prescription from a local optometrist, which often costs $20-$30. We have been able to help community members who are unemployed and uninsured obtain glasses for free or for a low price, when they were deterred from ophthalmologists that they had visited from obtaining glasses because of the cost.

To apply for these free ophthalmology services, a community member must work with a charitable organization (such as AMPHS), a social worker, case worker, or a community health agency to submit an application.

Any one in need of free eye care services can visit our headquarters office in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and be screened. Right now, we are only taking applications during our monthly in-house screenings, and other special events, where indicated.

Our office is located at:

5306 Third Avenue (at 53rd Street)

2nd floor

Brooklyn, NY 11220

We encourage everyone to check our National Event Calendar for dates for our monthly in-house screenings and other special health events and screenings.

About New Eyes for the Needy

New Eyes for the Needy was established in 1932 and works globally to improve the vision of poor children and adults who do not have health care support. In doing so, they: 

  • Purchase new eyeglasses in the United States, and
  • Recycle donated glasses for distribution in developing nations worldwide

New Eyes works collaboratively with social service agencies, optical dispensers and vision missions, improving the lives of over 7,500,000 people in the US and 87 countries around the world since its founding. Social service agencies first screen the community member for income eligibility and assist them in filing out a form to send in to New Eyes along with a recent vision prescription. Should they be approved, New Eyes will send a voucher to the agency within 4 weeks, which the agency will remit to the community member.

Both programs require community members to fulfill certain qualifications, including income levels and health insurance status. Immigrants who are unable to participate in the Vision USA program may qualify alternatively for the New Eyes program, given that they obtain an prescription from a local optometrist, which often costs $20-$30. We have been able to help community members who are unemployed and uninsured obtain glasses for free or for a low price, when they were deterred from opthamologists that they had visited from obtaining glasses because of the cost.

About Vision USA

Vision USA was established in 1991 to provide basic eye examinations to Americans in need, and is currently available in 39 states and the District of Columbia. American Optometric Association (AOA) works primarily with member social agencies and optometrists to connect low-income community members with no health care access to the basic vision care they need. Social agencies will assess community members’ eligibility for the Vision USA program and thereafter, assist them in filing out the appropriate paperwork to apply for assistance. AOA will then make a referral for the community member to visit a local member optometrist, who donates their services at no cost.

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AMPHS Partners with Vision USA to Offer Free Ophthalmology Check-ups

November 5, 2012

By Adriana Cardenas

Image Source: Eye Doctor Guide

The Academy of Medical and Public Health Services (AMPHS) has partnered with Vision USA to help  eligible individuals apply for ophthamology check-ups at no cost to Brooklyn residents. AMPHS is the only organization authorized to offer Vision USA services in Brooklyn.

During our in-house screenings, clinical volunteers will continue to offer the routine Snellen eye checks but if they find that the community member needs prescription glasses, they will assist them in applying for VisionUSA service and professional follow-up.  To apply for these free ophthamology services, a community member must work with a charitable organization (such as AMPHS), a social worker, case worker, or a community health agency to submit an application.

Vision USA was created in 1991 by The Optometry Cares and the American Optometric Association (AOA) Foundation to provide basic eye examinations to low income Americans across the U.S. Vision USA is currently available in 40 states.

“We are delighted to partner with Vision USA,” Mr. Hewett Chiu, President & CEO, AMPHS, said. “Their commitment to provide free eye examinations to people in need was a perfect fit for our community members in Sunset Park.” 

All community members who need vision examinations and cannot afford health insurance are very welcome to apply through AMPHS at anytime. AMPHS also provides health screenings once a month which include: body mass index assessment, blood pressure measurement, heart and respiration rate, oxygen saturation, memory and HIV screenings, nutrition and lifestyle choices consultations. All screenings are FREE and strictly confidential.

We are continuously working hard to identify the healthcare needs of this community,” Chiu said. “This is one of many services that we’re adding to our growing list of preventative healthcare offerings.”

About AMPHS

AMPHS is a humanitarian 501(c)3 non-profit organization operated exclusively by volunteers dedicated to providing free healthcare services to underprivileged communities of Brooklyn and New York City. From strengthening our foundation through the public trust, we work to integrate healthcare systems, education, awareness, and disease prevention such that all people can appreciate healthcare not as a privilege, but as a basic human right.

About Vision USA

Vision USA is a program created by The Optometry Cares and the AOA Foundation.  This foundation was incorporated as a non-profit and strives to expand eye health and vision care access to everyone in the U.S. Vision USA was created in 1991 to provide basic eye examinations to low income Americans across the U.S, and is currently available in 40 states.