Eye Can Play--An Event for Special Olympics Athletes Supported by Essilor Vision Foundation

By Mommy Donna and Kib - August 05, 2016

I have a heart for kids with special needs.  I have some units on learning about their needs in undergraduate and graduate studies that is why I can understand a bit of their needs and behavior.  I admire families who are proud of their children with special needs because sadly, there are some families who treat their children with special needs as jinx ('malas' in Filipino).  Support groups are also there to support each other and to encourage each other whenever there are challenges around them.  There are also activities for special children to recognize their abilities and skills.  One of them is the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is also like the regular Olympics but the athletes here are children with intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics is the leading voice in raising awareness of individuals with intellectual disabilities.  The Special Olympics is also held every four years, the last one was held last year.  To know more about the Special Olympics, you may visit their website, http://www.specialolympics.org/.

The Philippines is also participating in the Special Olympics.  Last year, the Philippine delegation was able to bring home 59 medals for the country, and as early as now, our country is preparing for the next Special Olympics.

Excitement and laughter filled the air as athletes with intellectual disabilities and their families visited booth after booth of games testing visual acuity, visual memory, depth perception, color vision and eye tracking at “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair.” The event was sponsored by Essilor Vision Foundation, one of the philanthropic giving initiatives of Essilor, the world’s leading ophthalmic optics company.

Held at SM Sucat Entertainment Hall, “Eye Can Play” specifically used an “edutainment” approach to help Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and their families learn more about the importance of healthy vision through interactive and engaging games. After undergoing quick vision screenings with Essilor volunteers, excited participants played “Pop the Bubble”, “Twister”, “Name It Quick”, ‘Finding Nemo”, “Finding Dory”, “Catch the Marble” and “Eye Can See”.

“Twister” is one of the games during the "Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair" to help Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and their families learn more about the importance of healthy vision

Filipino athletes with intellectual disabilities had their vision tested for vision problems during the event.  Having a good vision affects their sport scores and quality of life.

Brina Maxino and Sashi Montaña, the founders of “Eye Can Play”, saw the need for Filipino athletes with intellectual disabilities to test their eyes as good vision can affect not only their sport scores but also their overall quality of life. The two teens, who are part of the Special Olympics Philippine team, also envisioned the event as a venue to encourage people with intellectual disabilities to excel in sports and games. They presented the project at the 2015 Social Impact Summit, held during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California that same year, where it earned a spot in the Top 5 out of 70 proposals.

“Essilor and Essilor Vision Foundation feel passionately that healthy vision is fundamental for every individual,” stated Essilor marketing manager Jinky Navo. “Our mission is to improve people’s lives by improving their sight, for everyone and everywhere. In line with this objective, we want to help people with intellectual disabilities to see the world better so that they can achieve more and aim higher, which is what some of the athletes have already done at the Special Olympics ” she added.

Special Olympics Philippines executive director Kaye Samson remarked, “We believe that youth leaders, through the examples of Brina and Sashi, can be powerful advocates in leading behavioural change in the society towards accepting and respecting our fellow Filipinos who have intellectual disabilities.” She added, “We also thank our friends from Essilor and Essilor Vision Foundation in supporting this event by setting up a booth and deploying a team of volunteers to check our athletes eyesight.”

About Essilor

The world's leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, EyezenTM, Xperio®, Foster Grant®, BolonTM and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.
Essilor reported consolidated revenue of more than €6.7 billion in 2015 and employs 61,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 32 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as 5 research and development centers around the world.
The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.
Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.
For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.ph.

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