The Healthy Athletes program at Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) works to improve each athlete’s health and fitness, leading to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being. Within the Healthy Athletes program, there are seven health disciplines. One of those disciplines is Opening Eyes®.

Led by volunteer vision care professionals and members of the Lions Club, Opening Eyes provides free vision screenings to SOWI athletes. At the screenings, athletes move between stations, testing depth perception, color blindness and refraction. Statistics show that 35% of athletes require new prescription glasses, with 5% never having an eye exam.

Through funding from Lions Club International, SOWI is able to offer prescription eyewear and sports goggles to athletes, free of charge. If athletes do not require prescription glasses, they are still able to pick out a pair of designer sunglasses.

Opening Eyes takes place at two events during the year: the Indoor Sports Tournament and the State Summer Games. With the help of Opening Eyes’ Clinical Director, Kellye Knueppel, and her team of 70 volunteers, our goal is to provide 300 screenings at the State Summer Games, June 10-11, 2016. Athletes do not need to compete to receive free health assessments from any of the Healthy Athletes disciplines. To participate, athletes are required to have a current medical with SOWI.

Watch the video below to learn more about Special Olympics Wisconsin’s Healthy Athletes program.