Essilor Vision Foundation, in support of the World Games Special Olympics 2015, emphasizes the importance of healthy vision in sports and in helping intellectually challenged individuals work towards making critical social changes, fighting discrimination and intolerance; and generating acceptance in the community.
“Healthy vision is critical for every individual, including intellectually challenged persons who, like many of us, have aspirations and goals in life. Helping them see the world better can make a huge difference in what and how much they can achieve. This is the reason why Essilor is a huge supporter of Special Olympics. We’re happy to support the Special Olympics Social Impact Summit where our Philippine delegates can participate and share ideas on how to achieve critical changes in society,” says Dr. Emelita Roleda, Essilor Philippines general manager.
The Social Impact Summit is a six-day international convention that will take place during the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, California from July 23 to 28, 2015. The summit aims to gather youth leaders who will generate and implement actionable ideas that can educate, motivate and activate individuals, particularly the youth, towards accepting and including people with intellectual disabilities in community life and activities.
As part of its commitment with Special Olympics to help improve the treatment towards people with intellectual disabilities, the Essilor Vision Foundation fully supports the 2015 Special Olympics Social Impact Summit, which features the lead Philippine delegates Brina Maxino and Sashi Montaňa as co-chairs.
During the Social Impact Summit, 12 mentors—including professional athletes, entrepreneurs and social innovators—from Special Olympics partner organizations will train the youth leaders of Generation Unified on interviewing, public speaking and presentation. These youth leaders will gain an in-depth look into the challenges facing people with intellectual disabilities and how to equip themselves to influence change. As the finale of this six-day Summit, the top projects will be pitched to a star-studded panel of judges, who will select a project to execute based on the level of innovation and potential impact on generating acts of acceptance and inclusion in their communities. The Summit will end with a presentation of the Generation Unified Manifesto, which is a declaration of social change by the youth leaders of Generation Unified.
For the Social Impact Summit, Sashi and Brina are presenting “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair,” which uses an “edutainment” approach to help Special Olympics athletes, their caregivers and their families learn more about the importance of healthy vision. “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair” will make use of vision test and hand-eye coordination activities like interactive computer games, puzzles, giant word search, like ring toss and balloon darts to help discover any eyesight problems in the athletes that may require vision solutions. This project will be one of many to be presented during the 2015 Social Impact Summit that will integrate Special Olympics’ Opening Eyes program, which gives vision and eye health screening for Special Olympics athletes. Support for Sashi, Brina and their project “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair” can be seen in social media, through fan signs with the hashtag “#EyeSupportSashiBrina”, the official Social Impact Summit hashtag “#SOGenUin”, and the hashtag for key supporter “#EssilorPH”.
Brina and Sashi’s “Eye Can Play: A Healthy Eyeffair” shares the same thrust with Essilor Philippines in improving lives by improving sight. The focus of “Eye Can Play” is on Special Olympics athletes who rely heavily on their eyesight during competitions. The games and activities of the fair are geared towards identifying and solving any vision problems they may encounter, given that research shows that people with intellectual disabilities are 10 times more likely to develop long-term vision problems. In the same way, the global Essilor campaign ‘Seeing the World Better’ seeks to raise public awareness on the importance of healthy vision and make everyone act upon protecting and valuing their eyes.
With the help of Essilor Vision Foundation, the 2015 Special Olympics-Social Impact Summit will change the way people see individuals with intellectual disabilities, and make a great leap towards universal social acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities.
Essilor has been supporting Special Olympics for more than 10 years by providing athletes with prescription eyewear, protective sports eyewear and important health counseling on proper eye health and vision care to more than 100,000 athletes. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization that fosters acceptance and inclusion of all people, regardless of ability or disability, through the power of sports.