The Vision Institute of Canada is a vision care charity providing clinical services to under-served communities and at-risk patient populations.
Thanks to individual and corporate donors, lives are transformed every day at the Vision Institute of Canada. You help us give people one less worry and as their vision improves so does their quality of life.
COVID-19 is having a serious impact on the Vision Institute of Canada. Currently, our clinic is closed and when it re-opens how we are able to deliver care to at risk-patients will be drastically changed in order to protect our vulnerable patients, our staff and our doctors. Any donations to help the Vision Institute continue to provide care in these precarious times is very welcome.
The Vision Institute of Canada was founded by optometrists in 1981. To help provide exemplary vision care, the VIC’s founding optometrists realized the need to have the best in leading-edge vision diagnostic instrumentation and advanced expertise. VIC quickly gained recognition and referrals from optometrists, other health care providers and other community agencies whose patients need specialized eye care. Through the generosity of our donors, we are able to expand our services on a continuing basis.
Providing much-needed services, we partner with groups like the Blind Low Vision Program, Massey Centre, Matthew House, Ontario Early Years Centres, Romero House, Surrey Place, the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, YWCA family shelters, school boards, community living facilities, and other social service organizations serving people in need. The majority of patients from these partners make appointments and come to the clinic. By providing large exam rooms, we can comfortably accommodate patients with wide-ranging disabilities. Standard optometric offices, for example, often do not have the necessary space for specialized quadriplegic wheelchairs. Our optometrists all have experience and skill in using modified examination techniques.
Our optometrists also provide care outside of the main clinic, to Evergreen Centre for Street Youth, Homeless Connect Toronto, Out-of-the Cold partners, centres for developmentally delayed adults, and approximately 20 long term care facilities, reaching out to those who cannot connect with eye care in the conventional way
The Vision Institute acts as an externship site for final year optometry students from the University of Waterloo Optometry and Vision Science, the New England College of Optometry and the State University of New York.
The services provided by the Vision Institute include: primary care with an emphasis on clinically challenging populations, low vision, advanced contact lens care, advanced pediatrics, binocular vision assessments, vision therapy, and community outreach. Many of our patients require some financial assistance in the form of free or subsidized eye exams and optical aids. Compromised groups, such as indigent seniors and women and children living in shelters, receive eye exams and glasses at no charge.
First Nations Partners
For over 10 years the Vision Institute has advocated for improved access to comprehensive eye exams for First Nations. In 2011, the Vision Institute was successful in having that year declared Aboriginal Vision Health Awareness Year. In partnership with First Nations leaders, the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH), and the University of Waterloo we developed education materials on glaucoma, diabetes and children’s vision care that have been circulated across Canada. A study conducted by the Vision Institute in 2012-13 found that a staggering 86% of on-reserve elementary school children who needed refractive correction were not wearing eye glasses. Ongoing, and with the support of corporate sponsors, we partner with the University of Waterloo to provide free vision care to children on reserves. We continue to work with Mr. Tony Jocko, health policy analyst for the Anishinabek Nation, to identify projects on reserves.
What People Are Saying
"The Assembly of First Nations would like to acknowledge and congratulate the Vision Institute of Canada for their leadership in promoting the vision health of Canadians… Vision health can affect the quality of life... and this is particularly true of First Nations people in Canada."
— Shaun A-in-chut Atleo, National Chief, AFN (2011)
"I fully support this vision health awareness campaign and offer my best wishes to all those working on this initiative so that eye health education can reach all native people across Canada."
— The Right Honourable Paul Martin