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Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program
COVID-19 Safety Protocols

COVID-19 Status – Heiken staff continues to process applications and issue vouchers for eligible school children. Apply on the Heiken Portal or call 305-856-9830 with questions. Heiken mobile eye care units are scheduled to provide no cost eye exams and glasses at schools statewide by following CDC and AOA recommendations and implementing the COVID-19 Safety Protocols shown below.

About our Statewide Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program

Statewide Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Video

The American Optometric Association reports that that 1-in-4 children has vision problems which may contribute to poor school performance, behavior issues and delinquency. Their research shows that literacy can be improved with early intervention. To read the full text of this article, click here. 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.

The mission of the Statewide Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program is to make sure that all financially disadvantaged schoolchildren who fail their vision screening have access to a comprehensive eye examination including dilation and glasses, if required, to give them the best chance at academic success. These no cost services are offered statewide, either on-site at schools via five mobile eye clinics or by our network of over 1,000 participating optometrists statewide.

5% of low-income schoolchildren receiving a comprehensive eye exam are referred for medical intervention for retinal tears, glaucoma and other eye abnormalities that left undetected could lead to permanent vision loss. Approximately 58% of all children examined through the Heiken program required and received prescription eyeglasses, confirming the importance of a follow-up eye exam after a student fails the state-mandated vision screening.

Funded by the Health Foundation of South Florida, a market research survey was conducted by Eliza Corp in June 2020 of 1,500 families whose child had received prescription eyeglasses during the 2019-2020 school year from our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program. 77% percent of respondents reported that their child had improved in school because of the services provided by our Heiken Program and 96% percent of the respondents found the program valuable.

The Heiken program undertakes its critically important work with funding from the Florida Department of Health, and additional funding from The Children's Trust, The Miami Foundation, Lions Clubs International Foundation, other private foundations and individual donors.

Statewide Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Chart

History of our Statewide 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 Statewide 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 Statewide Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Advisory Committee comprised of optometrists, ophthalmologists and representatives from foundations and school districts. Click here to view the roster of Statewide Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program Advisory Committee members.

Florida Panther's Mobile Unit Unveiling at North Miami Elementary

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-Dade County.


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Miami Lighthouse is honored by the following



Miami Lighthouse is AER accredited distinguishing that an agency or school operates at the highest level of quality and is positioned to generate the outcomes needed by the clients.

PR Week

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2020 award for "Best in Nonprofit" campaign by PRWeek referred to as the "Oscars of the PR industry".

Charity Navigator

Miami Lighthouse ranks among the elite 1% of U.S. nonprofits having earned 13 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.

GuideStar Exchange's Gold Participant

Miami Lighthouse has earned the Gold participation level through the GuideStar Exchange which is a testament to Miami Lighthouse's commitment to data transparency.

The Children's Trust

Early Intervention Blind Babies Program Named the Children's Trust 2016 Program of the Year. This most prestigious award recognizes this Early Intervention Program, in particular, for including parents as teachers.



Miami Lighthouse Learning Center for Children™ is a Florida gold seal and nationally Accredited Professional Preschool Learning Environment (APPLE)

Florida Blue Foundation

Miami Lighthouse was recognized at the 2015 Florida Blue Foundation Sapphire Awards luncheon as an organization that has demonstrated excellence and innovation in community health.

The Beacon Council

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2015 Beacon Award in Education at the 13th Annual Beacon Council Awards.

Marlins Charity Partner

Miami Lighthouse is a two-time Charity Partner (2013 and 2014) of the Marlins Foundation and a 2017 Major League Baseball All-Star Game Legacy Partner. Our Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program has received over $300,000 in charitable donations through these partnerships.

Health Foundation of South Florida

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious 2008 Concern Award from Health Foundation of South Florida.


Miami Today

Miami Lighthouse received a Silver medal at the 2016 Miami Today Gold Medal Awards Ceremony.

Miami New Times - Best of Miami 2017

Miami Lighthouse named "Best of Miami" Charity 2017 by the New Times.

United Homecare

Miami Lighthouse received United Homecare's 2012 Thelma Gibson Community Service Award at the 18th Annual Claude Pepper Memorial Awards Ceremony.

South Florida Business Journal

Miami Lighthouse received the prestigious South Florida Business Journal 2011 Excellence in Health Care Award in the Community Outreach category.

Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

Miami Lighthouse honored by being named the recipient of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 2010 Non-Profit Business Diamond Award.


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