Resources

POB has a suite of community resources for all ages and levels of vision. Our Low Vision Resource Guide offers everything you need to navigate your vision journey — whether you are seeking support for recent vision loss, long-time vision loss, or for family members or caregivers. Additionally, our resources will help you locate local eye care providers, find financial assistance for eye care, and more.

Low Vision Resource Guide

 

The Low Vision Resource Guide is designed to be a helpful resource for everyone on the vision loss spectrum, including friends and family of those with vision loss. The Resource Guide was designed for the Metropolitan Washington region. While many of the resources and services are available nationally, and state agencies are available where you live, we have focused our content on the community we serve. Hundreds of resources and services are available. From state agencies to reading resources, to rehabilitation programs, our region is full of resources and services for the visually impaired community. The large number of available resources may be overwhelming or even create confusion and fear at first. We have grouped resources and services by category, and the region they serve. This allows one to identify what they may be looking to address (e.g., reading the newspaper), and what region they live in (e.g., District of Columbia). In addition, many national and regional items will be helpful as well.

Financial Resources for Eye Care

 
 

Many state and national resources regularly provide aid to people with vision problems. POB does not help individuals directly pay for eye care.

However, our Affordable Eyeglasses Program helps children and adults obtain new eyeglasses at a nominal cost. Learn more about our Affordable Eyeglasses Clinic.

If you need financial aid to assess or treat an eye problem, one or more of the following programs may help.

Eye Care for Adults

Medicare is a government health insurance program for people over age 65 and some people with disabilities. It doesn’t cover eye exams or tests for most people, but it may cover some eye care if you have diabetes, macular degeneration, or a high risk of glaucoma. Some Medicare Advantage plans may also offer vision coverage. To learn more about Medicare’s vision coverage, visit the Medicare website or call (800) 633-4227.

EyeCare America (American Academy of Ophthalmology) connects eligible seniors 65 and older with a medical eye exam often at no out-of-pocket cost, and up to one year of follow-up care for any condition diagnosed during the initial exam. The EyeCare America Glaucoma Program provides a glaucoma eye exam at no cost to those who are eligible and uninsured. For more information, call (877) 887-6327 or visit the EyeCare America.

Howard University Hospital Department of Ophthalmology offers a limited number of eye exams each year for people with no health insurance and/or no job. Howard University Hospital Eye Clinic accepts Medicaid. Call (202) 865-1257 for more information.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Eye Center offers a limited number of eye exams each year for people with no health insurance and/or no job. MedStar Washington Hospital Center accepts Medicare and District of Columbia Medicaid. Call (202) 877-3937 for more information.

Inova Lions Eye Clinic at INOVA Fairfax Hospital provides free eye care to uninsured adult patients that meet certain income requirements. Clinic patients must be referred by a local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or community safety net partner. Call (703) 876-2700 for more information.

Northern Virginia Lions Mobile Sight and Hearing Screening Unit provides free sight and hearing screenings to the men, women, and children of Northern Virginia. The Mobile Screening Van travels regularly throughout Northern Virginia. A schedule of upcoming screening locations is available on the organization’s website. For more information, call (703) 475-1692 or visit the Northern Virginia Lions website.

 

For Low Vision/Assistive Devices

The Association of Blind Citizens offers funding to cover 50% of the cost of adaptive devices and software for eligible applicants. The products must retail between $200 and $6,000. To be eligible, you must be legally blind and a U.S. resident. Other restrictions apply. For more information, call (781) 961-1023 or visit blindcitizens.org.

Assistive Technology Program for the District of Columbia (ATPDC) offers assistive technology device loans, disability equipment recycling, and assistive technology financing loans. The goal of these programs is for Washingtonians with disabilities to live independently in their communities and have equal access to educational and employment opportunities. Call (202) 547-0198 or visit atpdc.org for more information.

 

Eye Care for Children

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are government programs that offer free or low-cost health insurance for children in families with low incomes. For more information:

District of Columbia (DC): Call (202) 442-5988 or visit dhcf.dc.gov.
Maryland: Call (855) 642-8572 or visit mmcp.health.maryland.gov/chp.
Virginia: Call (855) 242-8282 or visit coverva.org/famis.

Children’s National Hospital has a Financial Assistance Policy (FAP) to provide eligible patients with discounted services. For more information, call (202) 476-5002.

InfantSEE (American Optometric Association) provides a free comprehensive eye assessment for infants between six and 12 months of age. Call (888) 396-3937 or visit www.infantsee.org to locate a doctor in your area who can provide the free infant assessment.

Maryland

Prince George’s County’s Kaiser Care for Kids program provides free eye exams to uninsured children who live in Prince George’s County. Call (301) 324-2925 for more information.

Montgomery County’s Care for Kids Program provides free eye exams to uninsured children who live in Montgomery County. Call (240) 777-0311 for more information.

Virginia

Fairfax County’s Medical Care for Children Partnership (MCCP) offers low-income families a reduced-cost healthcare program for children up to age 18, including eye exams. Call (703) 324-7315 for more information.

Lions Clubs of District 24-L Telephone Help Hotlines are special telephone help hotlines provided by your local Lions Clubs. When leaving a message on the voicemail system, speak slowly and clearly. It is requested that you provide the following information: Your name, address, phone number, a brief description of the help required, and best time of day to contact you.

Hotline Phone Numbers:
Northern Virginia: (703) 339-1669
Sterling, VA: (703) 723-0077
Prince William County: (703) 335-5400
Fauquier County: (540) 347-6400

Northern Virginia Lions Mobile Sight and Hearing Screening Unit provides free sight and hearing screenings to the men, women, and children of Northern Virginia. The Mobile Screening Van travels regularly throughout Northern Virginia. A schedule of upcoming screening locations is available on the organization’s website. For more information, call (703) 475-1692 or visit the Northern Virginia Lions website.

Professional Member Directory

 

To help you in find an eye care provider, POB maintains a directory of its Professional Members. These are eye care providers who support POB’s programs and services. This is not a complete list of all eye care providers in our area; professional societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Optometric Association, also have searchable directories.

This Directory in no way constitutes endorsement or promotion by POB — direct or implied — of any of the businesses or services listed.

Eye care professionals: If you are interested in becoming a Professional Member, please download and return the membership form, or call (202) 234-1010 for more information.

Low Vision Newsletter

 
 
 

Your Eyes Today is a free, monthly, large-print newsletter sponsored by POB’s Low Vision Resource & Support Group Network. Your Eyes Today features important eye health information and local resources, information about local events and recreational activities, and more.

To receive this free resource in the mail, call (301) 951-4444, or email your mailing address to communications@youreyes.org. To subscribe to the email version, click here.