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Latest News From VisionQuest 20/20

Arizona-based Nonprofit and Salt River's Education Division
Team Up to Address the 4
th Leading Public Health Issue Facing Kids 

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community leads the way among Tribes

Integrating State-of-the-Art Technology

 

Immediate Release

 

Rhonda Bannard  602.370.3560
rhonda@inspiredconnections.net

(Scottsdale, Ariz.) February 20, 2015 - Arizona’s Congressional leadership is offering collective support for a unique partnership between the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and Phoenix-based nonprofit VisionQuest 20/20, who’s innovative vision screening program and data collection system brings hope in solving the nation’s 4th leading childhood health issue of undetected vision problems.

With up to 1 in 4 school-aged children suffering from vision problems, 1 in 25 at risk for monocular blindness due to amblyopia, and 80 percent of learning occurring visually, healthy vision is a critical link to education and academic success. Additionally, Native American populations face higher rates of type 2 diabetes at 2.8 times the national average with eye and vision problems the 2nd leading cause of impairment.

Arizona is one of 8 states in the country that does NOT require school-based vision screenings. Most vision screenings are still done using the 150-year-old eye chart. Arizona’s Congressional delegation is rallying around a special demonstration and collaboration between the Salt River Education Division and VisionQuest 20/20 to address vision disorders and showcase how state-of-the-art EyeSpy 20/20™ technology provides a solution that is easy to use, accessible to remote and rural populations, and could potentially save millions of taxpayer dollars. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community will be integrating this technology into its school system to make sure children are screened annually and receive the follow-up services they need to address vision issues that may stand in the way of strong academic performance and life-long success.

Special honorary hosts for the Saturday, February 21st gathering include Senator John McCain, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), Congressman Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Congressman Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-01) and Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03). Congresswoman Sinema also hosted a legislative staff briefing in Washington D.C. last fall for VisionQuest 20/20 to share its innovative technology and one-of-a-kind data collection system.

Executive Director of the Inter-Tribal Council Maria Dadger, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Government vice president Martin Harvier will kick off the February 21st event discussing the impact of vision issues and related health concerns for their community’s children. VisionQuest 20/20 co-founders, Dr. James O’Neil, a pediatric ophthalmologist, and technology developer Richard Tirendi, will demonstrate the technology and share their mission to improve children’s health and vision.                                                                                                                                                      

When:  Saturday, February 21, 2015

              VIP reception - Noon-1:30pm

              Free Community vision screenings - 1:00pm-3:00pm

Where:  Salt River High School 4827 N. Country Club Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Following a special VIP reception and demonstration, Tribal community members are invited to bring their children to the school for free vision screenings from 1pm-3pm using the EyeSpy 20/20 technology – a video game kids play while it checks their vision.

For media attendance arrangements, please contact Rhonda Bannard 602.370.3560 or rhonda@inspiredconnections.net with questions or R.S.V.P.s.

About Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is a sovereign tribe located in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Established by Executive Order on June 14, 1879, the Community operates as a full-service government and oversees departments, programs, projects and facilities. With two distinct backgrounds and cultures, the Community is comprised of two Native American tribes: the Akimel O’Odham, (Pima) and the Xalychidom Piipaash, (Maricopa). Today, nearly 10,000 individuals are enrolled tribal members. The Community proudly owns and operates several enterprises including Salt River Materials Group, Talking Stick Golf Club, Talking Stick Resort, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Salt River Financial Services, Saddleback Communications, Salt River Devco, Casino Arizona at Salt River, Courtyard by Marriott at Scottsdale Salt River and Salt River Landfill.

About VisionQuest 20/20

VisionQuest 20/20 is a 501(c)(3) Arizona-based nonprofit organization focused on solving the Nation’s 4th leading childhood health issue of undetected vision problems. Addressing the fact that little impact has been made on the incidence of vision loss in children and the wall chart invented 150 years ago is still used in schools to vision screen, VisionQuest 20/20 founders, Pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. James O’Neil, and technology developer Richard Tirendi are committed to bringing childhood vision screenings into the 21st Century. EyeSpy 20/20™ is a video game that kids play to detect a variety of vision issues while there is still time for corrective action, and prevention of poor academic outcomes, misdiagnosis for behavior and other issues, and a lifetime of challenges.  EyeSpy 20/20 is compatible with other vision screeners and supports data collection needs for a variety of health and medical related issues. More than 400,000 EyeSpy 20/20 vision screenings have been performed throughout Arizona and across the country, and the organization has collaborated with groups including the Lions Club, Boys & Girls Clubs, school districts, foundations, Special Olympics and others.

VisionQuest 20/20 was named one of CNBC’s top 10 most innovative small businesses in 2013, among other recognitions. For more information visit: http://www.visionquest2020.org

 

# # #

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
February 18, 2015
 
CONTACT:
Dan Hewitt
202.223.2400
dhewitt@theesa.com 


ESA Foundation Awards Grants for Innovative Use of Games, Digital Technologies

Eight Organizations Receive Funding for Programs Benefiting American Youth

February 18, 2015 – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Eight nonprofit organizations today were awarded grants from the ESA Foundation to advance programs leveraging video games and technology to make a difference in the lives of America's youth. The grantees’ programs range from offering hands-on game design workshops for girls to using video games for vision screenings in schools. The ESA Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic organization begun by the U.S. video game industry.

“Video games can improve lives and expand horizons exponentially. These grantees are harnessing interactive technologies to create innovative solutions to everyday challenges,” said Jenny Lai, vice president of ESA Foundation. “Their programs are closely aligned with the ESA Foundation’s mission to create positive social impact through video games and digital technology, and we are proud to support their efforts.”

These grants will allow the organizations to advance their projects through 2015 and beyond.

2015 ESA Foundation Grantees:

• Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA)
Through project-based learning, BGCA will promote a nationwide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative to encourage kids and young adults to apply STEM concepts to real-life experiences and improve their local communities.

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals
Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life, a 24-hour video game marathon and fundraiser, has raised more than $14 million for CMN Hospitals across the country. The ESA Foundation sponsored the top prizes of $30,000 to the two CMN hospitals whose Extra Life 2014 participants raise the most funds overall and per capita.

• Drexel University
As a leader in collegiate game design programs, Drexel University will offer game development workshops for girls in the Philadelphia region in partnership with TechGirlz, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the gender gap in technology occupations. The workshops will give girls a hands-on experience with different technologies and encourage them to pursue degrees and occupations in technology-related industries.

• HopeLab Foundation
HopeLab works to harness the power of technology to improve human health and well-being. Its newest project, Zamzee, encourages physical activity among children and their families. HopeLab will test Zamzee with clinical partners to explore using games as a tool to combat sedentary behavior and prevent the onset of chronic diseases.

• National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)
NCMEC will support the development of NetSmartz Kids Club UYN, an online monthly feature that promotes Internet safety with animated media, interactive activities and more.

• National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
NMAI, a component of the Smithsonian Institution, will develop The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire, an in-gallery game play experience that will explore the importance of the Inka Road and how the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere changed the course of world history.

• ThanksUSA
As a way to thank the men and women of the U.S. armed services, ThanksUSA provides meaningful educational scholarships for military family members. The ESA Foundation will continue to support ThanksUSA’s Treasure Hunt, an interactive American history game that reinforces the privilege and values of American freedom.

• VisionQuest 20/20
VisionQuest 20/20 aims to protect children and their families from the devastating consequences of undetected vision disorders and preventable blindness. Thirty-five schools across the U.S. will receive EyeSpy 20/20, a vision assessment game, along with supplies and technical support to conduct unlimited screenings.

About ESA Foundation
Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology to create educational opportunities. ESA Foundation is primarily supported by proceeds from its signature annual fundraiser, “Nite to Unite – for Kids” and other charitable initiatives. For more information, please visit ESA Foundation's website or follow us on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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