Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has announced the recipient of the “2020 Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health” as the Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program (CVRP) at West Virginia University, which is led by Rebecca Coakley, MA, CVLT.
The Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health is named for Mrs. Jenny Pomeroy who served as CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia from 1996 until 2013. And was an advocate for championing the role of public health in vision and eye care services, and programs. The annual award recognizes an individual, team, or organization that has made significant contributions to the advancement of community, state, national, and/or international level.
CVRP was selected by a volunteer committee for the program’s innovative approach to respond to the individual needs of visually impaired children, teachers, parents, and related professional in West Virginia. Founded in 1996, CVRP has a three pronged approach in meeting the needs of blind/visually impaired children by:
· Providing comprehensive low vision exams in the community.
· Mentoring teachers of the visually impaired who are often isolated without appropriate support and training.
· Creating and implementing special programming to address the “nonacademic” needs of the child with visual impairments to succeed in life.
To help children succeed outside of the classroom, CVRP assists visually impaired students in mastering skills in relation to independent living, communication, organization, self-help, socialization, and self-advocacy. Last year, CVRP held four events for these students: adventure camp, summer day camp, technology camp, and an orientation and mobility weekend trip to New York City. CVRP and its low vision services continue to service as a model for programs both nationally and internationally, including countries such as Canada and Egypt.
The Jenny Pomeroy Award is among the highest honors bestowed by the Prevent Blindness. The Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program will receive recognition of this prestigious award at the Focus of Eye Health National Summit virtual event on July 15, 2020. In addition, program director Rebecca Coakley is invited to present her work as the closing speaker of the Summit.