Driving for a Good Cause: DPH’s Drive for Sight Program Benefits Georgia’s Visually Impaired

October 14, 2014

The next time you renew or apply for a driver’s license, you may not realize how much it could benefit someone’s life.

Thousands of Georgians live with some form of visual impairment or eye disease. Through the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Drive for Sight program, these Georgians are gaining access to important vision services through $1 donations collected at driver’s license offices across the state.

As specified in House Bill 812 legislation, the Drive for Sight Program is administered by DPH which contracts with non-profit organizations that provide low vision education, rehabilitation and treatment services for people who are blind or visually impaired. The program also offers screening services to save children’s vision, eye exams for needy adults, training for people who have lost vision and public education about eye donation.        

Last week, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) Commissioner Rob Mikell presented a check for $318,290 to DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., to fund the Drive for Sight Program. The check represents voluntary contributions accumulated from DDS’ customers while conducting driver’s licensing business over the past year. 

“DDS customers know firsthand how important vision and eye health are to a happy and productive life,” said Commissioner Mikell. “Whether applying online or in person, you may choose to contribute one dollar to Drive for Sight which is added to the final licensing transaction fee.”

During a visit to a driver’s license office, DDS customers are able to indicate on the application required for anyone obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or ID card if they are interested in donating money for the prevention of blindness.

“We are so thankful because these donations are so critical in connecting Georgians with vision care and screening,” said DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald. “The dollars add up and provide children's vision screenings, adult eye exams and training for those who have lost their vision.”

In addition to enhancing vision services for Georgians, the Drive for Sight Program strives to address Healthy People 2020 National Objectives for vision health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s health promotion and disease prevention agenda to improve the health of all American citizens by 2020.

For more information, please visit the DDS website at www.dds.ga.gov or the DPH Drive for Sight website at http://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-drive-sight-program.


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