Currently enrolled (for 2017-2018 school year) opticianry, optometry and optometric assistant students from across Canada are all eligible to apply for the chance to win one of three prizes of $2,500, $1,500 and $500 scholarships.
“We are happy to partner with Transitions Optical again on this program to encourage students to educate and inform vision care consumers about matters related to their eye health, which is the OAC mission,” said Robert Dalton, executive director of the Opticians Association of Canada. “Sun protection is an important topic in the industry and it’s pivotal that our eyecare students of today are well-informed on the subject, as they are the eyecare professionals of the future. We are looking forward to seeing their entries.”
To enter the scholarship program, students must develop a project in the form of an essay, video or presentation about ways to communicate the importance of Sun Protection Solutions, and how they will implement this into their practice as a future eyecare professional.
A flyer detailing the scholarship program challenge can be found at Transitions.com/StudentsofVision. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges against on the following criteria: creativity, strategic thinking and ethics.
The theme of Sun Protection Solutions was inspired by recent research1 from Transitions Optical, which showed that while Canadians are equally as concerned about protecting their eyes from the sun’s UV rays as they are their skin (88 percent each); they are more likely to take steps to protect their skin than their eyes. Millennial patients, specifically, could benefit from education, as they are the least likely generation to be concerned with sun protection and generally less likely to see their doctors.
The research also reflected confusion about blue light, which is at the forefront of people’s minds because of the increased use of digital devices. Most people don’t know (including 83 percent of Millennials) that the sun is the largest singular source of harmful blue light, scattering it through the atmosphere and emitting over 100 times the intensity of electronic devices and screens.
“Educating consumers on why it is equally important to take steps to help protect their eyes as they do with their skin is a big priority for us, which is why this year’s topic was chosen,” said Patience Cook, director, North America Marketing, Transitions Optical. “We are excited to learn each student’s approach to how they will think differently about ways to communicate with their future patients, especially the Millennial demographic.”
All submissions should be sent to StudentsofVision@Transitions.com by Nov. 1, 2017. The winners will be announced on Nov. 10, 2017.
1 Online survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Transitions Optical, Inc. in December 2016 of 1,000 nationally representative Canadian adults 18+.