Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
was a two-time Charity Partner of the Marlins Foundation in 2013 and 2014.
Donations from the team helped underwrite the cost of
providing vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams and prescription
glasses to underserved inner-city schoolchildren who receive eye care
through our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program.
If you have lost a voucher please call 305-856-9830 for a
replacement - at no cost to the family.
Providing free eye examinations and glasses to eligible
Eligible children receive vouchers for their community
optometrist or a mobile eye care clinic visits the child’s school
Click here to read testimonials about our Heiken Program from
Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program Serves as a Model for Other
Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has developed a Best
Practices approach for the delivery of eye care to uninsured
schoolchildren over the past 24 years as documented in Optometry:
Journal of the American Optometric Association, January, 2012. To read the full
text of this article,
Students with poor vision cannot see the board or do close work and
fall behind in class. Our objective is to provide comprehensive eye health
services including vision examinations, eyeglasses and vision training for
students, thus meeting the goal for vision established in National Eye
Institute, National Institutes of Health, Healthy Vision/Healthy People
2010 initiative. Our Heiken Program has received two Healthy
Vision/Healthy People awards from NEI.
The goal of the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program
is to assure that all financially disadvantaged schoolchildren who fail
their vision screening have access to a comprehensive eye examination
including dilation and glasses, if required, to ensure academic success.
Following the Florida Statute which sets standards of care, the Program
provides an eye examination with dilation so that underlying medical
conditions can be diagnosed and appropriate medical referrals made.
Glasses are prescribed if required. These free services are offered
statewide either on-site at schools via four mobile eye clinics or by our
network of nearly 2,000 participating optometrists. Of 8,900 low-income
schoolchildren receiving a dilated eye exam during the 2014-2015 school
year, 234 were referred for medical intervention for retinal tears,
glaucoma and other eye abnormalities; 7,431 children received prescription
glasses. Approximately 84% of all children examined require and receive
prescription eyeglasses, confirming the importance of a follow-up eye exam
after a student fails the state-mandated vision screening.
Why are these services important?
According to research by the American Optometric Association, vision
problems in children and teenagers may contribute to poor school
performance, behavior issues and delinquency. AOA research shows that
1-in-4 children has vision problems; literacy can be improved with early
intervention. With corrective lenses, children are able to read their
assignments, see the board, and learn to their fullest potential. Their
prospects for succeeding in school improve immeasurably.
Of the 1,400 families contacted in our recent Heiken
Children’s Vision Program market research survey, underwritten by the
Health Foundation of South Florida, 74% of the respondents reported that
their child had improved academically because of the services provided by
How is the program funded?
Leveraging Florida Department of Health funds with funding
from other entities such as the Florida Optometry Eye Health Fund, The
Children’s Trust, the Miami Foundation, other private foundations and
individual donors enables our Heiken Program to provide eye care for the
growing number of children who need our services each year.
History of the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program
The Heiken Children’s Vision Fund was created in 1992 by
the Dade County Optometric Association, and merged with the Miami
Lighthouse in 2007. In 2010, the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program,
LLC, a division of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired,
Inc., was registered with the State of Florida, expanding vision health
services to low-income children statewide.
Governance oversight of the program is provided by the
President, Secretary and Treasurer of the LLC; oversight of the program is
provided by the Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Advisory
Committee comprised of optometrists, ophthalmologists and representatives
from foundations and school districts.
to view the roster of Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program
Advisory Committee members.
Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 2% of U.S.
nonprofits having earned eight consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity
Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit evaluator. Receiving
such a distinction reflects our sound fiscal management, responsible use
of donor dollars, and financial strength.
For additional information please call 305-856-9830 or
The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired Florida Heiken
Children's Vision Program is partially funded by The Children’s Trust.
The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by
voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in
Miami Lighthouse Wins South Florida Business Journal
Excellence In Health Care - Community Outreach Award
Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business
Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach
category at an award ceremony October 6.
Click here for press release.
School Board Member Raquel Regalado thanks
the Heiken Children's Vision
School Board Member Raquel Regalado thanks Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
and the Heiken Children's Vision Program that enables uninsured,
financially disadvantaged children in Miami-Dade County to receive free
comprehensive eye examinations and eyeglasses at no cost. Filmed at the
Miami Lighthouse 80th Ruby Jubilee Dinner Concert at the Biltmore Hotel.
Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program
by Miami-Dade County School Board
A proclamation recognizing the Miami Lighthouse Heiken
Children's Vision Program for distinguished services to county
schoolchildren was presented at the April 14th, 2010 meeting of the
Miami-Dade County School Board.
School Board member Dr. Martin Karp, Miami Lighthouse
CEO Virginia Jacko, and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado; Thomas
Abraham, Anthony R. Abraham Foundation; Senator Gwen Margolis;
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Mrs. Spencer; Chairman of the
Board Ray Ramon Casas; CEO Virginia Jacko; Representative David
Richardson; Marcel Marlote, Wolfberg Alvarez & Partners; Jorge
Munilla, Munilla Construction Management; and Richard Krasno,
representing The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
“Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually
Impaired Case Study: Vision Rehabilitation for the First Florida
Resident to Receive the Argus II “Bionic Eye” appeared in the
May/June issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.
Click here to read the article.
The Blind Visionary All of
Virginia’s royalties and part of the publisher’s
royalty income will be donated to blind services at
the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind
Click to read
State of Vision
Sales of the “State of Vision” license plate support services to
blind and visually impaired people. Miami Lighthouse is the
recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this
license plate. The cost is $25.00 in addition to the regular
STAR is really cool. I like it because I get to be
with all my friends and learn a lot during summer,
from typing to art to music.
- Marino, age 12
STAR is fun because we get to read a lot, go on lots of field trips, use the computers and learn programs like PowerPoint. I make a lot of friends here and get to learn things with them. It's a lot better than staying at home watching TV during the summer! - Madisleny, age 11
We learn a lot and have fun activities in STAR. The large print books I get have helped me a lot in school, and I like learning with a lot of friends that
I've made here during my second year in STAR at Miami Lighthouse.
- Taknighis, age 12
Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue
Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that
has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community
Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits
having earned nine consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity
Navigator, the nation’s premier independent nonprofit
evaluator. Receiving such a distinction reflects our sound
fiscal management, responsible use of donor dollars, and
Lighthouse has earned the Silver participation level through
the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami
Lighthouse’s commitment to data transparency.
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in
Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.
Lighthouse was the recipient of the 2013 Switchboard Miami
All Star Most Valuable Non-Profit Award.
2013 and 2014
Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner of the Marlins
Foundation and has received over $50,000 in charitable
donations from the team to underwrite the cost of providing
vision screenings, comprehensive eye exams and prescription
glasses to underserved inner-city schoolchildren who receive
eye care through our Florida Heiken Children's Vision
Lighthouse received United Homecare’s 2012 Thelma Gibson
Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper
Memorial Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today
Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.
Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business
Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the
Community Outreach category.
Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral
Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond
Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from
Health Foundation of South Florida.