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Georgia Drivers Donate Thousands for Blindness

December 13, 2013

Originally published Aug. 26, 2013

When Georgians fill out an application to get or renew a driver's license or permit, they may barely notice the small box asking for a $1 donation to Georgia's Blindness Education, Screening and Treatment Program. But checked boxes on thousands of applications can really add up.

On Aug. 20, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) presented the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) with a check for more than $328,000 to fund the Drive for Sight program. Rob Mikell, DDS commissioner, was on-hand to present the donation to DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.

The funds will allow the program to continue to support partners who provide low vision education, rehabilitation and treatment services for people who are blind or visually impaired, including screenings to save children's vision, eye exams for needy adults, training for people who have lost vision and public education about eye donation.

The Drive for Sight program has provided more than 60,000 homeless or low-income Georgians with vision screenings and eye exams, as well as vision screenings for more than 50,000 pre-kindergarten children.

Subie Green, president of the Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI), one of the program's partners, told PHWEEK in May how important the partnership with DDS is for her organization's work.

"Drive for Sight makes it possible for many Georgians with vision loss to learn the skills they need to be successful at school and work, and to live in their own homes instead of care facilities," said Green. "I'm inspired by the commitment of our clients to become and remain independent, to stay involved and to be contributing members of our communities -- all because of the $1 donations from Georgia drivers renewing their driver's licenses."

For more information on DPH's Drive for Sight Program, partners, or how to donate, visit http://health.state.ga.us/programs/DriveForSight/index.asp. For tips on eye health and care, visit http://livehealthygeorgia.org/healthyvision.shtml.

Story by DPH Communications