From footballers in Brazil, to athletes from New Zealand, Essilor continues to support the Special Olympics – an organization that improves the well-being of people with intellectual disabilities through year-round sports training, competition and related services.
In November 2013, more than 1100 athletes benefited from individual specialist eye care at the New Zealand Summer Games. A team of 4 Essilor volunteers, working with optometry students from Auckland University, set up the Games’ first mobile fitting laboratory in Dunedin to provide more than 400 personalized pairs of glasses during the event held every four years.
Four Essilor volunteers at the New Zealand Summer Games
In mid December, the Naval Academy in Rio de Janeiro gave Brazil a taste of the football fever with a Special Olympics soccer tournament. Essilor brought together a team of 17 volunteers including opticians, orthoptists and lens mounting specialists to provide on-the-spot screening and visual correction for the athletes, 20 of whom received new equipment to see better.
A great number of Special Olympic athletes suffer poor eye health, as they can be more difficult to examine, require specialist equipment and skills and need a longer examination time. The diagnosis of an eyesight issue and subsequent treatment is often ‘life-changing’.
Essilor Vision Foundation has since 2002 been the exclusive global supplier of corrective lenses for the Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes vision care program which promotes healthy vision for athletes through vision screenings, correction and sports protective eyewear. Essilor’s employees, customers and partners regularly participate as volunteers in sporting events organized throughout the world, helping to provide quality visual care to people with with intellectual disabilities. Over 10 years, the Group has equipped over 120,000 athletes. In the USA in 2013 Essilor has conducted over 50 Special Olympics programs, and served 5170 athletes.