Verizon Awards $7,500 to Helen Keller Services for the Blind to Support Preschool Vision-Screening Program in Brooklyn

The Verizon Foundation has awarded $7,500 to Helen Keller Services for the Blind to support its program for providing free vision screenings in Brooklyn for 3- to 5-year-old children.

The child-friendly Preschool Vision Screening Program is based upon the premise that the earlier a deficiency is detected, the better the chances of successful remediation.  The program's coordinator contacts preschool programs, Head Start and other early education sites in Brooklyn, and helps find resources in the community for families who can't afford eye-care coverage.  The program reaches on average 12,000 preschoolers each year in Brooklyn - 5 per cent to 7 per cent of whom need further care. 

"Early detection and treatment of a visual problem greatly improves a child's quality of life," said Thomas J. Edwards, president and CEO of Helen Keller Services for the Blind.  "The assistance and support that Verizon provides to our agency is invaluable and truly assists in improving our children's well being."

The Preschool Vision Screening Program plays an important role in the services provided by Helen Keller Services for the Blind, which include providing public education and blindness prevention programs.

"Children's health issues are vitally important to our communities, and Verizon's grant to Helen Keller Service for the Blind and its Preschool Vision Screening Program will go a long way to addressing that," said Susanna Zwerling, Verizon vice president of government and external affairs.  "This program will allow thousands of children in Brooklyn to have their vision checked and to have any problems addressed early."

Since 1893, Helen Keller Services for the Blind has helped individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired, and who may have additional disabilities, develop independence and participate actively in their communities.  For further information please visit www.helenkeller.org.

The Verizon Foundation, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its free educational Web site, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2009, the Verizon Foundation awarded more than $67.5 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  It also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in an additional $26.1 million in combined contributions to nonprofits.  Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 5 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 91 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of approximately 222,900 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.