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Near Vision Institute

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Alan P Pearson OD PhD FCOVD

August 15, 2021

It all started in the Yakima Valley

In 2010-2013 the Yakima Valley of Washington State was ablaze with concerns due to the lack of access to vision screenings, eye exams, eyeglasses, and treatment for vision issues impacting children.

This concern was especially expressed in the area’s Native American communities. Two publications, one by the Americorps Child Vision Project1 and the other a University of Washington Master Thesis by Barbara Obena, MPH2 highlighted the social injustice of undetected near vision dysfunctions, such as convergence insufficiency, impeding student learning and achievement. Two community members, Helen Spencer and Katie Johnson, brought this concern to the University of Washington, Bothell. The project became a central research and development effort by CSS and Interactive Media Design students and continued to make significant progress each year.

FOUNDERS

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William Erdly PhD

Concerned citizens approached Professor William Erdly PhD, Chair of the Computing and Systems Science division at the University of Washington Bothell (UWB), to see if computer science students at the university could explore technologies that might assist in school screenings and treatment of near vision disorders.

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Alan Pearson OD PhD FCOVD

Alan Pearson OD PhD joined Professor Erdly and students as a volunteer advisor of the new Children’s Vision Research Group. Dr. Pearson has been providing evaluation and therapy for near vision dysfunction for over 25 years. Dr. Pearson is also a software developer and has created the core of the EYE Toolbox system.