The Vision Institute of Canada, in collaboration with the Chiefs of Ontario Organization and the School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, is conducting a research project to determine the level of optometric vision care services being delivered to Ontario’s 77 on-reserve elementary schools. This project includes contacting all optometrists who are visiting First Nations communities and providing on-reserve comprehensive eye exams and treatment services.

If you are presently visiting an Ontario First Nations reserve, either as part of your personal practice in an arrangement with a First Nations community, or through a Health Canada job placement, or if you have been contacted by a First Nations community to provide vision care services on their reserve, the Vision Institute would like to hear from you.

Please send an email to Paul Chris, OD, at apchris@rogers.com and he will contact you to ask a few questions. The information you provide will be kept strictly CONFIDENTIAL and used only with your INFORMED CONSENT. Your support of this project is extremely important so that a proper needs assessment for on-reserve comprehensive eye exams for First Nations children can be completed.

The incidence of uncorrected refractive error in on-reserve elementary schools in Ontario is over 85% based on two elementary school vision care projects conducted by the Vision Institute.1 This high rate of untreated vision problems may be contributing to the low rates of academic success of Ontario’s First Nations children. The purpose of this study is to identify those communities with unmet children’s vision care needs and to provide optometric vision care services to them.

The Vision Institute looks forward to hearing from you. Thank you.


1 A total of 250 children from JK to Grade 8 were examined. Of this number, 76 children (30%) had a correctable refractive error. (These children received free glasses provided by the Vision Institute.) At the time the students were examined, only 11 of these 76 children (14%) were actually wearing glasses. This means that 86% of the First Nations elementary school children who needed glasses were not wearing them.