Alberta's Bill 203 - Children's Vision Assessment Act, was introduced last week in the Legislature. This historic Bill would ensure ALL Alberta children would have the benefit of at least one vision exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist before they start school. As we all know, vision development is critical in behaviour, learning, and development.
Vision concerns impact upon everything from reading, to visuomotor and gross-motor skills, balance, coordination, and cognitive performance. Currently, at best 20% of children do have an exam before Grade 1, meanwhile as many as 25% of all children have some sort of vision impediment that goes undetected/unmanaged.
You can read the Bill here.
All OTs are encouraged to share this news and follow the progress of the Bill through the Legislature. You are also encouraged to write to MLA Mary Anne Jablonski to voice your support for something that is long overdue.
Dr. Charles Boulet, a consultant on this, is available to speak with OT groups about the history of the Bill and its implications. Contact Dr. Boulet at email@example.com.