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The iCare Initiative University of Alberta (ICIUA)

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1 The iCare Initiative University of Alberta (ICIUA)

2 Who are we?  Started in 2009  Student run organization affiliated with the University of Alberta  The goal of iCare Initiative University of Alberta (ICIUA) is to help improve general health education in Edmonton’s inner city elementary schools, with a special emphasis placed on vision care

3 Why do the work?  Vision health awareness is often an overlooked aspect of elementary education  Our hope is that eye care may be more effectively addressed in schools  Children that DO have visual acuity issues may be screened and have their needs addressed accordingly.

4 What do we do?  ICIUA works through 3 different agendas: 1.Education 2.Screening 3.Fundraising

5 Education  Every month, we take a team of 12-14 volunteers into a local inner city elementary school.  Perform a basic presentation on general health concepts (i.e. nutrition & exercise) with a special emphasis on eye care and vision health.

6 Screen  Training session for all volunteers on how to conduct screenings  Visual acuity values are assigned, and a qualitative assessment is completed of that child’s vision.  A letter is sent home to the students parent/guardian, indicating the general condition of their child's eyesight.

7 Screen  Most importantly, the letter will inform the parent/guardian that under Alberta Health, anyone under the age of 19 can receive one free eye exam every year.  Our primary goal: to inform parents about this free service that exists for their children that they may or may not know about  Raise AWARENESS!!

8 Fundraise  Another very important aspect of our group  We are in the process of developing a program in which we would subsidize a portion of the students eyeglasses, if they were unable to afford them.

9 Our work  ICIUA works throughout the year on a continuous basis.  We educate and screen at a different inner city school once per month  We also host a campus fundraiser once per month  We are in the planning stages of an ‘Vision Health Symposium/Optometry Day’ to be held in the Winter semester

10 Long term vision  Currently working on bringing all the parties that we hope to work with together (e.g. Edmonton Catholic and Public School boards, the Alberta Optometrist’s Association, the CNIB, Lens Crafters, and Lions Club)  Pitch our idea and to discuss means for us all to work together in a coordinated fashion to get our initiative off the ground.

11 Long term vision  Research team is in place to start collecting data on our screenings.  With this evidence-based approach, we hope to install a program over time, in Edmonton’s elementary schools, whereby mandatory screenings occur on an annual basis.

12 Thank You! For more information, email us at

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