Leadership and Organization

Prevent Blindness Georgia (PBGA) is the convening agency of the Children's Vision Georgia Coalition.  The coalition is made up of more than seventy members and advisors from more than fifty agencies and organizations involved in children’s eye health.  In the past year, the coalition has grown to include over thirty new members, and advisors from more than ten new partner organizations. Many of these members serve on one of four work groups:

  1. Vision Readiness for School, a work group addressing vision screening requirements for entry into Georgia public schools as well as periodic mass school screenings;
  2. Special Education, which  addresses the screening of vision problems among children who are being considered for the state special education programs;
  3. Young Children, which focuses on vision screening and eye health issues impacting preschool-aged children; and
  4. Data, which is evaluating potential methods of collecting state-wide data on children’s vision screening and outcomes. 

These work groups have set independent goals and contribute to the overall accomplishments of the coalition by performing the activities that build towards those goals.  Each work group has two co-leaders who direct the core activities of the work group.

Project Products and Activities

  • The group meets bi-monthly. Meetings have included brief presentations to provide coalition members with additional information on children’s eye health.
  • The Vision Readiness for School work group has made recommendations for revisions in the policies and processes regulating the vision screening required for entry into Georgia’s public schools.
  • The Special Education Work Group has assessed best practices for vision screening candidates for special education prior to testing and has made recommendations to school nurses and the Department of Education.
  • The Young Children’s work group has been delivering vision screening training to pediatric offices, public health, nurses, and family practice offices to ensure that screenings are administered according to PBA/AAP manual guidelines.
  • Task force members have also designed and proposed two studies to assess best practices in children’s eye health.  The first is a study of a new method of screening non-verbal children for visual acuity, and the second is a study to track the development of retinopathy of prematurity in a cohort of premature infants.

Read the latest edition of the screening newsletter Voices for Vision

Future Goals

  • The Special Education Work Group will complete a survey of special education candidate screening practices.
  • Advocate for and secure the passage of legislation to change the rules and regulations concerning vision screening required for entry into the public schools;
  • Develop a method of collecting data and tracking children’s eye health outcomes for the state of Georgia; and
  • Set an agreed upon standard for State of Georgia vision screening guidelines for use until the National Expert Panel recommendations are implemented; requiring mandatory periodic screening requirements for different age groups. 

Project Contact

Laurie Irby, Prevent Blindness Georgia, lirby@pbga.org; phone 404-266-3334