Jennifer Wessel, JD, MPH
Senior Policy Analyst and Data Privacy Officer
Early diagnosis of vision problems is essential to optimize the health and development of children. Arkansas requires that children who attend public school receive vision screenings and be referred for comprehensive exams if potential vision problems are detected. The percentage of students statewide who have evidence of receiving a comprehensive exam after referral (also described as a follow-up exam) has been consistently low over the past several years. However, there is wide variation in follow-up exam rates across the state, with some school districts successful in making sure students receive follow-up exams.
This explainer provides information on school-based vision screening requirements in Arkansas, examines vision screening data provided by school districts, and looks at barriers to access to comprehensive eye exams.