Low vision financial assistance is vital when your goal is to purchase one of the many available technologically advanced devices, but funds are low.
Needing the help and finding the help, however, are two vastly different things. As a low vision patient myself (for over 25 years now), I’ve navigated through many of the available services, grants and loans available to us.
Eye Care America
This Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology public service program provides a free eye exam for those without insurance.
Anyone deemed to be at risk for glaucoma may be able to receive a no-charge glaucoma exam.
Mission Cataract USA
Put together by the Volunteer Eye Surgeons’ Association, started in California in 1991 and rolled out nationwide in 1993, this helps folks without resources to pay for cataract surgery to receive the operation at no charge.
You may reach them at (800) 343-7265. They schedule surgeries once each year and May is the month this is normally done.
Sight for Students
Partnered with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, this Vision Service Plan (VSP) allows for uninsured low-income children to receive vision exams and corrective glasses for free. They can be reached at (888) 290-4964
Initiated in 1991, this program offers free eye exams to folks who can’t afford eye care in the District of Columbia and 39 states. Once accepted, you’ll be put in contact with a volunteer doctor for details about your exam.
Loans that can be applied to low vision assistive technology devices can be applied for through the Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU). In order to take advantage, you must be a member of the Members of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).
Amounts between $1500 and $25000 are allowed for and you can take up to 72 months for paying them back. No down payment is needed. Additionally, the person applying for the loan does not need to be the low vision patient.
Click here to visit their website
Foundation for the Advancement of the Blind
Funds are provided for those who wish to purchase assistive devices. Their contact info is:
4058 Moore Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Located in St. Louis, the Lighthouse for the Blind offers a low vision aid program for adults who need help buying a magnifying lamp, CCTV, or handheld video magnifier.
Click here for details