In terms of vision need, there are few populations more marginalized and discriminated against than people with intellectual disabilities. Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, talks about celebrating a world of talent through sport.
Many athletes, even in their 30s or 40s have never had an eye exam or a correct prescription. The Opening Eyes program gives the very real and powerful gift of sight. Seeing properly for the first time changes everything. It also transforms attitudes, from the volunteers who referee games to the optometrists who find themselves to be agents of change in someone’s life. It is a life change that extends beyond the arena of sport, and provide these individuals with the tools they need to succeed in the arena of life.
“Special Olympics reaches out to vulnerable people – those with intellectual difficulties – to create a community of volunteers and athletes celebrating together a world of talent and potential through sport.”
Sustained commitment makes all the difference. Partners like the Lions Club, Essilor, Safilo Group and others who have been with us over the long-term have become part of the DNA of Special Olympics, helping us build more inclusive communities worldwide.
Essilor has been a long-term partner for Special Olympics helping more than 100,000 athletes receive prescription eyewear, protective sports eyewear and important health counseling on proper eye health and vision care. The Group has renewed its support to the Lions Club International Opening Eyes Program through to 2017 as exclusive global supplier of ophthalmic lenses. Volunteers from across the Group continue to provide much needed expertise at Special Olympics sporting events worldwide.