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Essilor Supports Special Olympics "Opening Eyes" Program

By Essilor News


DALLAS – (November 2, 2007) – Essilor of America, Inc. continues to help athletes around the world through its participation in Essilor International’s partnership with the Special Olympics – Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes® program. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, Opening Eyes is the world’s largest program dedicated to providing eyecare for people with intellectual disabilities. Most recently, at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China, volunteers screened 3,571 athletes in the Opening Eyes program. Twenty percent of those athletes received new prescription eyewear.

“We are honored to impact the lives of so many athletes at the largest event in Special Olympics history,” said John Carrier, EOA President. “Essilor annually donates more than 11,000 polycarbonate Airwear lenses and provides comprehensive services to craft customized eyewear to athletes that need prescription eyewear.”

Research conducted by Special Olympics shows 68 percent of Special Olympics athletes have had no eye examinations in three years or more and that 55 percent are in need of new or modified glasses. Opening Eyes provides vision screenings to Special Olympics athletes as well as educates athletes, parents and coaches about the importance of regular eye care. The program also strives to change the attitudes of eyecare professionals about the vision care needs of persons with intellectual disabilities. Opening Eyes uses research to increase the knowledge of visual and eye health needs of persons with intellectual disabilities.

As the official global supplier of ophthalmic lenses to Opening Eyes, Essilor International supports the mission of the Opening Eyes program to improve the quality of life for millions of individuals diagnosed with intellectual disabilities through quality eye care.


Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive,  high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, 

Essilor employs more than 8,500 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the  Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, DEFINITY™ and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a  subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock  exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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Varilux, Ellipse, Comfort and Crizal are registered trademarks and DEFINITY is a trademark of Essilor International, S.A. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc. Opening Eyes is a registered trademark of Special Olympics, Inc.