On Friday 10th June, The University of Auckland will host the official launch of the long-awaited Vision Bus Aotearoa.
The Vision Bus Aotearoa is an initiative of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, made possible with philanthropic support, that provides affordable mobile eye care services to eligible people in the Auckland region. Eye care services are provided by Bachelor of Optometry students who are supervised by qualified Optometrists.
The Vision Bus Aotearoa aims to raise awareness of eye health in the community, and so far, appears to be on the road towards achieving this. Since arriving in Auckland in February 2022, the bus has visited several primary schools to provide eye care for children identified with vision problems during school screening. Early impressions by schools, teachers, and parents are excellent, with increasing demand for the service.
“The Vision Bus has made a massive difference to our tamariki and their whanau! Knowing that their vision or lack of it is not a barrier to their learning. Developing students that are able to access all platforms and achieve success in visual art, reading and other parts of the curriculum.
Ka Pai to the Vision Bus and the amazing team supporting our Tamariki! Wish for your success and a great journey touching the vision of so many students out there.” [Mihi Aroha, Special Education Needs Coordinator, Fairburn school]
The bus has also provided eye care to residents of the Mangere Refugee Centre. In the long-term, partnerships with Māori health providers and residential care facilities will expand the service to include other groups of people who may benefit from the service.
The Vision Bus Aotearoa is supported by generous funding from philanthropic funders Peter and Rae Fehl and their family, whose work aims to increase educational opportunities for school and university students. Helen Blake QSM and Barbara Blake (via the Community Spectacle Fund) together with Essilor, have provided spectacles for all patients of the Aotearoa Vision Bus who need them. We are also grateful for support from the Buchanan Charitable Foundation.
The bus will be on display during the launch ceremony at Grafton Campus of The University of Auckland from 1pm on the 10th June.