CNIB Eye Van CNIBE Eye van lockup

Who will benefit by a visit to the Eye Van?

  • People with serious eye problems or a family history of eye disease.
  • Children and seniors experiencing difficulties due to vision loss.
  • Patients with diabetes and glaucoma.

What services are provided by the Eye Van?

A CNIB ophthalmic assistant will test your vision and ask about your eye problems. An ophthalmologist will then examine your eyes. If treatment is necessary, including minor surgical procedures and laser surgery, it can usually be done in the Eye Van.

Does the Eye Van provide prescriptions for glasses?

Appointments on the Eye Van are limited. People needing a routine eye examination or prescription glasses may contact their local optometrist. If no optometrist is available, people may be able to have an appointment on the Eye Van, space permitting. Priority is given to patients with medical eye concerns and referrals.

When is the Eye Van on the road?

Each year, the Eye Van travels across northern Ontario between the last week of March and the first week of November. Clinics are usually held from Monday to Friday in each location. For more information about dates, check our Eye Van Tour schedule or contact your local CNIB Centre.

How can appointments be made?

Patients should see their family doctor, optometrist or nurse practitioner to be referred for an appointment to the Eye Van.

Who initiated the Eye Van program?

In 1971 the concept of a traveling clinic was developed by William S. Hunter, M.D. and Ross Purse, Director of CNIB's Ontario Division. At the time, Dr. Hunter was Chair of the Ontario Medical Association's (OMA) Section on Ophthalmology. It was during his early medical career as a family practitioner in White Dog Falls, near Kenora, Ontario that Dr. Hunter experienced the limited medical services available to remote Ontario communities. Once established as an ophthalmologist, Dr. Hunter believed that something more could be done for these remote areas. As founder and Medical Director of the Eye Van program for 25 years, Dr. Hunter retired from the program in 1997.

What is the Eye Van's Awareness Program?

The Eye Van is not only about prevention and healing. Through the sponsorship of Alcon Canada special medical education programs are available for local doctors and nurses. The doctors and CNIB ophthalmic assistants travelling with the Eye Van also promote this vital service by speaking to community groups.