About FocusFirst

FocusFirst is a free vision screening initiative of Impact America, serving preschools, Head Starts, and daycares across the southeast. Since 2006, FocusFirst has screened more than 500,000 children. Of those screened, over 50,000 were suffering from undetected vision problems. Undetected vision problems in children can lead to difficulty in the classroom, slow social development, and, in some cases, permanent blindness.

A FocusFirst vision screening can help to ensure that your child has a healthy start to life.

Our screening process:

  • The screening uses a high-tech digital camera and is non-invasive. We simply take a photograph of your child’s eyes.
  • If a potential vision problem is detected, you will have access to free or low-cost eye care.
  • If your child already wears glasses, the screening will confirm that the glasses are the correct prescription.

Vision Problems Detected by FocusFirst

Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)

Amblyopia is decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal development of vision in infancy or childhood. Vision loss occurs because nerve pathways between the brain and the eye aren’t properly stimulated. The brain “learns” to see only blurry images with the affected eye even when glasses are used. As a result, the brain favors one eye, usually due to poor vision in the other eye.

Anisometropia (Differences in power between the eyes)

Anisometropia means there is unequal focus between the two eyes, often due to one eye having a slightly different shape or size. The brain is then unable to use the eyes together and will pick the eye with the clearest image. The eye with the blurry image will be ignored and will not develop good vision. (1)

Astigmatism (Problems Focusing)

An abnormality in the shape of the eye in which the eye is not a perfect sphere, which results in distorted images and blurred near and distance vision, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus. (2)

Hyperopia (Farsightedness)

A vision condition in which distant objects can be seen clearly, but close ones do not come into proper focus.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

A vision condition in which people can see close objects clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. (3)

Strabismus (Gaze, eye misalignment)

A condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. (4)


(1) American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. (2017, March). Amblyopia. Retrieved from AAPOS: https:// www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/21

(2) American Optometric Association. (2017). Astigmatism. Retrieved from AOA: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye- and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/astigmatism

(3) Mississippi Optometric Association. (2017). COMMON VISION CONDITIONS. Retrieved from MSEyes: http://www.mseyes. com/learn-more-about-optometry-7/

(4) Optelec. (2017). Strabismus. Retrieved from Optelec: https://us.optelec.com/eyeconditions/strabismus.html

Note: This program is based on a screening process; it is not diagnostic. Screening is intended to identify children with a wide range of eye problems who should seek the services of an eye-care professional for examination and diagnosis. As with any screening process, there is no assurance that all problems will be detected. Eye problems not detected by this screening process include diseases affecting the retina and optic nerve, glaucoma, certain forms of astigmatism, and color blindness. No screening process, including that of FocusFirst, is a substitute for a full examination by a qualified eye-care professional.


Sight Savers America


If a child has a potential vision problem, FocusFirst will refer the child for free or subsidized follow-up care through Sight Savers America.  

Sight Savers will contact parents to determine if they need assistance in locating, scheduling, and/or paying for follow up care. They will also connect parents with optometrists and ophthalmologists who can provide necessary professional examination, diagnosis, and treatment (including glasses or other vision aids or surgery, if necessary).


For English, call Tiffany Richardson:

1-877-942-2627 ext. 211

Para español, llame a Gaby Sebastiani:

1-877-942-2627 ext. 215

Click here to download Sight Savers America Informational Flyer


Contact FocusFirst

Alabama/ Florida Office

Phone: (205)934-0664

Email: FocusFirstAL@impactamerica.com

Tennessee Office

Phone: (855)459-1923

Email: FocusFirstTN@impactamerica.com

South Carolina Office

Phone: (864)412-5489

Email: FocusFirstSC@impactamerica.com

NC, GA, AR, MS, and General Inquiries

Phone: (205)934-0664

Email: vision@impactamerica.com

Frequently Asked Questions

My child’s screening form says “Complete Eye Exam Recommended.” What does this mean?

If your child’s screening form and result say “Complete Eye Exam Recommended,” this means our vision screening camera detected a potential vision problem for your child. Further examination from an eye care professional is recommended for your child. All children that fail our vision screenings are referred to Sight Savers America, and Sight Savers America  will contact you you to help with follow-up care.

If your child failed the screening, your childcare provider should have provided you with 1) the screening form, 2) a print out of your child’s result, and 3) a Sight Savers flyer. If you need a copy of your child’s result, you can contact our state offices at the numbers listed above

My child’s screening form says “No Result – Camera Unable to Screen.” What does this mean?

If your child’s form indicates “No Result – Camera Unable to Screen,” this means that your child was  unable to be screened by FocusFirst’s digital screening camera. The inability to obtain a screening result is sometimes indicative of a vision problem. Examination by an eye-care professional is strongly recommended. It is not always the case that the child has a vision problem, but, in the past, we have found cases of severe vision problems and therefore want to make sure all children that the camera cannot render a result get further examination from an eye care professional.

All children that the camera is unable to screen are referred to Sight Savers America, and Sight Savers America will contact you follow up with you to help with follow- up care.

For children currently under the care of an eye doctor: The eye doctor’s suggested treatment, follow-up, and reexamination schedule should be followed. The eye doctor’s recommendations take precedence over any screening recommendation.

How can I get help with follow-up care?

If your child failed the vision screening or you need help getting an updated eyewear prescription, you can reach out to Sight Savers America at 1-877-942-2627 ext. 211 (for English) or 1-877-942-2627 ext. 215 (para español).

How can I get a copy of my child’s screening result?

If you need a copy of your child’s vision screening result, please reach out to the FocusFirst office inthe state where you are located either by phone or email. Our contact information is listed above.

Why did I receive a flyer for Sight Savers America if my child passed the vision screening?

We refer any child that has prescribed eyewear to Sight Savers America regardless if they pass or fail our vision screening to provide you with resources moving forward in case you need them.

For children currently under the care of an eye doctor: The eye doctor’s suggested treatment, follow-up, and reexamination schedule should be followed. The eye doctor’s recommendations take precedence over any screening recommendation.


For any additional questions, please contact our FocusFirst Director, Meredith Smith, at msmith@impactamerica.com.