Fostering of Ophthalmic Care for Underserved Sectors) began in 1987
as an outreach project of the University of Houston College Optometry.
The project produced the FOCOMETER™
an affordable refracting device appropriate to areas without access
to professional personnel, electricity or costly equipment. This
device became the centerpiece of a unique program designed to help
medically underserved communities achieve self- reliance for basic
vision care. (Click here for Focometer Sheet in Spanish). In 1995
InFOCUS was chartered as a non-profit 501c3 organization with a
mission to provide eye care to all populations, beginning with those
most in need and hardest to serve due to poverty or geographic remoteness.
Its strategy is to train local service providers to provide primary
eye care. Its goals are to improve vision, prevent blindness and
teamed up with CVO-Inc. (Custom Vision Optical) and Eye Deal Eyewear,
Inc. to provide affordable eyeglasses to programs serving the poor.
InFOCUS provides training, appropriate equipment and low- cost eyeglasses
to rural health centers, community ministries, service clubs, mission
teams and non-profit agencies so that these program partners can
offer eye care, including affordable eyeglasses, to the people they
VISION STATION PROJECT: A Community-Based Response to Unmet Needs
To meet the
needs of underserved communities, InFOCUS developed a user-friendly
path to vision care, the Vision Station. InFOCUS offers "Introduction
to Primary Eye Care" workshops and step-by-step guidelines to prepare
community-based service providers to assess vision, provide eye
health education, refer patients to eye doctors and—if eyeglasses
are prescribed— dispense glasses from a small, on-site dispensary.
can be set up in a church, community center, clinic, school, youth
program or any place where low-income families come for activities,
assistance and services.
an appealing children’s book, I Can See, to help children and their
parents learn how to take care of their eyes, prevent avoidable
blindness and promote eye health. This book and other health educational
materials are included in the start up kit for each vision station.
Why is InFOCUS Needed?
As many as 900
million children and adults in the world today are visually impaired
due to refractive errors that could be corrected by prescription
eye glasses. The World Health Organization estimates that 75% of
the world’s blindness could be prevented or treated. Toward that
goal, InFOCUS helps large, medically isolated populations acquire
basic vision services and the capacity to link patients to professional