School-Based Vision Screening

Last Updated: August 20, 2019
Image of a young boy wearing glasses and smiling.

School-Based Vision Screening Program 

Importance of vision screening

Vision is important to a child’s social development, health and education. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, together with Southwestern Public Health, support visual health in our communities with free in-school vision screening for Senior Kindergarten students in County of Oxford, County of Elgin and the City of St. Thomas. School-based vision screening is an effective way to identify children with potential vision problems.   

School vision screening

School vision screening consists of three non-invasive tests. These include a test with a handheld machine called an autorefractor, a test for visual acuity and a test for depth perception.

Staff from Southwestern Public Health will spend approximately 15 minutes with each child to complete these tests. Following screening children will receive a report home.

Comprehensive eye exam

Vision screening will identify if a child needs to be seen by an optometrist to address a potential vision problem. A full annual eye exam is recommended, and any required follow-up visits are covered for children 0–19 years of age with a valid Ontario health card.

How to find an Optometrist

To find an optometrist in your area and arrange an OHIP-covered comprehensive eye examination, call the Ontario Association of Optometrists at 1-800-540-3837 or visit

It is important to detect and correct vision problems early. Children who see better, learn better!


If you have any questions please email or call:

Monday to Friday

8:30am – 4:30pm


St. Thomas site:  ext. 1205

Woodstock site:  ext. 3422