(Press Release) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Liberty Sport, a manufacturer of sports protective eyewear, has renewed a partnership agreement with Special Olympics in order to provide key support to the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes global vision care program.
Through the renewed commitment to the eye health and vision care of individuals with intellectual disabilities, Liberty Sport will provide thousands of sports protective eyewear to participating Special Olympics athletes in an effort to ensure full protection, both on and off the field of play.
The Opening Eyes program is part of the Special Olympics global health platform made possible by support of the Golisano Foundation and key stakeholders such as Lions Clubs International Foundation. Opening Eyes provides Special Olympics athletes with vision examinations, prescription eyewear and referrals for follow-up care for all participating athletes. The partnership renewal will provide more athletes with the opportunity to receive potentially sight-saving eyewear, while sensitizing the vision care professional community as to the importance of protecting the eyes of athletes during sports training and competition.
"Liberty Sport is the very first global partner of our Healthy Athletes program and one of the longest-standing relationships in the history of our health program,” says Mary Davis, acting CEO for Special Olympics. “Since 2000, Liberty Sport has consistently answered the call to action from our athletes to help them achieve their best as part of their sports participation – both safely and with style.”
“Liberty Sport is proud to continue its support to the Special Olympics-Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes program,” says Linda Laube, executive vice president of business development for Liberty Sport. “Through this support, we are able to show the entire industry that eye and vision protection is not a benefit for some – but for all – especially those who face such difficult access issues as individuals with intellectual disabilities. We are excited to engage even more with Special Olympics throughout this next term to protect more eyes, educate more vision care professionals, and witness the transformation that the Special Olympics program provides to athletes throughout the world.”
"The renewed agreement took effect on Jan. 1. Liberty Sport currently provides support to the Opening Eyes program in more than 80 nations. During the past 18 years Special Olympics has grown to become the largest global public health organization specifically focused on people with intellectual disabilities. By collaborating with corporations, organizations, universities, hospitals and health care professionals, Special Olympics is working to ensure inclusive health for people with intellectual disabilities and making sure they are not excluded from the health care systems within their communities.
Since its inception in 1997, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program has been providing free examinations and education for people with intellectual disabilities across the areas of audiology, dentistry, health promotion, optometry physical exams, physical therapy and podiatry. The Healthy Athletes program and the 135,000-plus health care professionals trained on the specific health care concerns of people with intellectual disabilities have provided more than 1.6 million free examinations to Special Olympics athletes worldwide in more than 130 countries. Special Olympics now maintains the largest dataset on the health of people with intellectual disabilities.