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Kansas bill provides free basic vision screenings for children

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 62, a bipartisan bill that amends standards for free school-administered vision screenings and establishes the Kansas Children’s Vision Health and School Readiness Commission.

“Early detection of vision issues in children helps educators assess and address the needs of students promptly,”Governor Kelly said.”It is critical we address these issues early on — especially if a student has shown signs of reading difficulty, to ensure our kids continue to learn to their fullest potential and find success in the classroom.”

In addition to updated standards, SB62 creates the Kansas Children’s Vision Health and School Readiness Commission, an eight-member commission appointed by the State Board of Education to oversee the state’s vision screening requirements. It will also assist Kansas families in finding free or low-cost eye exams if a student fails an initial vision screening and cannot afford the services on their own.

SB62 also ensures sign language interpreters are held to a standard just as other licensed professionals, so Kansans who are deaf or hard of hearing receive quality service from interpreters.

“The passage of SB 62 is a significant milestone for Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in its 40-year history,” Robert Cooper, Executive Director of the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, said.“SB62 aims at improving communication access and services for deaf and hard of hearing Kansans, building on the work and advocacy we have provided the community since KCDHH was first established by the Legislature in 1982.”

More information about SB62 can be found here.

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