In the developing world, 100 million children sitting in classrooms can't see the blackboard clearly.
More than 2 billion people in the world today need glasses but don’t have access to eye care professionals or special equipment to find their prescription.
100 million of these people are school-aged children - mostly teenagers - who cannot read the blackboard in class. This is one of the largest unaddressed health problems in the world today.
Put yourself in their shoes - and now imagine you had a pair of glasses that didn’t require eyecare professionals or specialist equipment to find the right prescription for you. Imagine if you could precisely adjust each lens with the help of a parent or teacher.
Imagine having perfect sight.
For some, this could mean the difference between finishing school - and dropping out altogether. A simple problem that affects millions of lives.
These life-changing, fully adjustable glasses will cost less than any other commercially available pair on the market.
Using our self-adjustable glasses we want to help young people in the developing world see clearly. We'd eventually like to distribute millions of pairs of these glasses to children in schools in Africa, Asia & Latin America.
- We’ve built the prototypes ✅
- We’ve done clinical trials, and small-scale testing with success ✅
- We have interest from governments in large-scale orders ✅
The next step is to prove that our self-adjustable glasses work at scale… And that’s where you come in.
With your support we can help so many young people get the most from their education and build a brighter future for them, their economies, and their societies.
In the developed world, we often don’t realise how serious or widespread this problem is.
The problem of poor vision is particularly important in school children, who then have great difficulty learning at school. There are over 100 million young people (age 12-18) in the developing world who suffer from myopia, ie nearsightedness.
This has an major impact on their education, their social participation, their overall quality of life, and ultimately their economic potential as individuals, and that of their communities.
We believe that there are five underlying reasons why young people do not have access to eyeglasses:
- Awareness - Many living in poor villages are unaware either that they suffer from poor vision, or that poor vision can be corrected
- Access - Eyeglasses are primarily available in urban optical shops; they are only rarely available in rural areas
- Affordability - The total cost of obtaining corrective eyeglasses is too high – including time lost to work in travelling to multiple screening and fitting appointments
- Attractiveness - Aesthetics are very important, particularly among teenagers, and eyeglasses can be a point of difference that leads to a social stigma. Cultural attitudes toward glasses, a belief that eyeglasses can be harmful, and comfort are other important factors
- Accuracy - A significant proportion of people wearing eyeglasses in developing countries have inadequate correction that leaves them with poor visual acuity. This may be due to poor testing by an untrained person, or indeed a complete lack of professional testing.
The impact of poor vision on the educational, quality of life and economic potential of young people is substantial. A recent working paper from the University of Minnesota based on schoolchildren in rural China estimates that wearing eyeglasses for a year increased average test scores by an amount equivalent to 0.33-0.5 extra years of schooling.
Help us manufacture and deliver 2000 pairs of our new self-adjustable glasses to schoolchildren in Zambia.
The Centre for Vision in the Developing World developed self-adjustable glasses which the wearer can adjust until they see clearly.
These glasses are based on a fluid-filled lens technology that is similar to that used in the Adspecs, the original self-adjustable, fluid-filled glasses developed by Professor Joshua Silver.
While the Adspecs were designed for use by adults, the Child Vision glasses have been developed specifically for use by teenagers aged from 12-18.
These glasses are small, light and attractive, and have been designed to withstand hard use in challenging environments. They have also been designed to enable mass-manufacturing to keep the cost of production as low as possible.
Self-refraction is a scalable, sustainable solution to deliver high quality vision correction at low cost.
Perhaps the most important question is: do they work?
Yes. Pilot batches of glasses were deployed in schools in developing world countries in order to test distribution models. The new glasses are correct for myopia between 0 and -5D and will be available in various different colours.
Several recently published clinical trials prove this and can be read here:
- Self correction of refractive error among young people
- The Child Self-Refraction Study
- The Boston Child Self-Refraction Study
We can’t do this without your support.
We need to raise as much money as possible to develop the Child Vision self-adjustable glasses for mass production and to distribute as many pairs of these glasses to children in schools in Africa, Asia & Latin America.
We have an estimated delivery date, at the latest, for December 2021 if we start now.
- £25 will provide 2 working pairs to school children in need
- £50 will provide 4-5 working pairs to school children in need
- £100 will provide 6-8 working pairs to school children in need
- £500 will provide 40-50 working pairs to school children in need
Please note: If our goal is not attained we will send as many glasses to as many developing countries as we can for the sum we have raised.
How do you use self-adjustable glasses?
Self-adjustable glasses are designed for use in parts of the world where there are too few optometrists to meet the needs of the people. Self-adjustable glasses allow the wearer to adjust the lenses until he or she can see clearly. They are simple to adjust and will be delivered through schools.
Step 1: Check for poor vision - Perform a basic screening test for poor distance vision using the 'tumbling-E' illiterate vision chart.
Step 2: Adjust lenses - Turn the dials slowly on the side-arms until each eye can see clearly.
Step 3: Seal lenses - Press the buttons on the frame to seal the lenses in place, detach the adjuster tubes and prevent further adjustment.
Step 4: Remove adjusters - Unclip the adjusters from the side-arms and dispose of them safely. The glasses are now set and sealed and function like normal spectacles.
Step 5: Wear - Your Child Vision Adjustable Glasses are ready for use.
A big thank you from our team to everyone who’s already supported our campaign. It means so much to us.
Joshua Silver is an atomic physicist and Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. He became interested in the emerging area of adaptive optics in the mid-1980s. Since then, he has created several prototypes of adaptive spectacles - including the Adspecs, the world's first fluid-filled universal eyeglasses - and he carried out research supported by the UK's DFID which showed that self-refraction with such glasses was a useful procedure for bringing vision correction to around half of the world's population which currently needs, but does not have, corrective eyewear. The self-refraction procedure is particularly useful for populations where there are too few eyecare professionals to meet the needs of the people. Josh hopes to see a billion people having vision correction by the year 2020.
Chris studied physics and philosophy at the University of Oxford before pursuing an entrepreneurial career, co-founding or advising new ventures in fields including online marketing and social media, cognitive models for organisational development, and adjustable-focus eyewear. Chris later studied law and was called to the Bar of England and Wales, and he continues to practise as a mediator in commercial and other civil disputes. Chris has worked with Professor Silver for more than ten years. He advised on all aspects of setting up the Centre for Vision in the Developing World.
With over 40 years of design and production of spectacle frames experience, Lawrence makes made-to-measure frames for opticians, and the world of television and film. Lawrence has consulted on the adaptive eyewear project since its inception.
Charlie founded her own craft-focused British bespoke eyewear label in 2014, named SohoBespoke. She was brought on to work on the Child Vision crowdfunding campaign in November 2016.
Maarten Weidema / The Eyewear Forum
We at CVDW are extremely grateful to Maarten Weidema and The Eyewear Forum for their most generous support of our project. After designing eyewear for multiple brands for over 20 years, he now runs TEF Magazine, an optical publication that tries to empower great independent eyewear. While he reaches over half a million optical stores from all over the world, having him on board will surely help us to bring the word out, and allow us to provide great vision to many more children out there!