Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Supports Legislation to Save Children’s Vision

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Boston, MA— On October 30, 2013 Opticianry students from Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) joined eye health leaders in the community for an event at the Massachusetts State House to support bill S.1672: An Act Relative to the Save Our Children’s Sight Fund, to build a system of coordinated eye health services for children across the state with monies voluntarily paid through consumer donations on Registry of Motor Vehicle applications.

Currently, over 250,000 Massachusetts children have a vision problem; one in four children needs glasses to see the blackboard or to read a book. Between 2,000 and 3,000 children will develop a condition that leads to permanent vision loss if not detected and treated early. Significant gaps in access, education, awareness, and communication result in many children no receiving vision screening or recommended follow-up care. Many go without glasses that ultimately harm them in the long-run.

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology is the only college in Massachusetts to offer an Associate of Science degree in Opticianry and the only program to be supported by the Opticians Association of Massachusetts. Students in this program learn to design, fit, and dispense glasses and contact lenses. Trained on ophthalmic devices and instrumentation, graduates from the Opticianry program are prepared for MA licensing and both national and local certification exams. 99.5% of graduates from this program. In September 2010, BFIT started a nine month certificate program in Ophthalmic Medical Assisting and prepares students for careers as Ophthalmic Assistants in Ophthalmology practices.

BFIT students have participated in many cooperative learning projects in partnership with students at the New England College of Optometry (NECO), the most notable project being the “Ben’s Vision for Kid’s Vision” program in which BFIT Opticianry students manufactured and dispensed over 350 pairs of glasses for vision needy school children in the city of Boston and surrounding areas.

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