Norway – fighting for subsidised glasses for children.

The government's reduction in the benefit program for children's glasses created a lot of noise last autumn. This year we have worked hard to bring attention to this issue.

The Norwegian Association of the Blind and the Norwegian Association of Opticians believes that the new rates do not cover the costs of good and functional glasses for the children that need treatment. The result of this can be that the parents' wallet decides whether children get the glasses they need.

Lack of glasses can cause permanent damage to vision and cause reduced educational benefits.

I received correctly tailored glasses in the 2nd grade, and from then on I could fully benefit from my education. Most people who have experienced this during their education understand that glasses must be properly adjusted, and that it is necessary to change glasses as vision develops. This provides a basis for their entire education.

Parents understand this, and most children get the glasses they need. However, it comes at the expense of other things. Other activities may end up being not prioritized, and sometimes grandparents have to step in financially. Children also perceive this and may feel like a burden to the family.

We are working for a solution where children's glasses are fully covered by the state, so that children who need glasses are not left out of play and education, says Terje André Olsen, president of The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted.

Terje André Olsen

Terje André Olsen