Iowa Child Vision Screening Program

The purpose of the child vision screening program is to improve the eye health and vision of Iowa’s children. The child vision screening program establishes a comprehensive vision evaluation effort to facilitate early detection and referral for treatment of visual impairment in order to reduce vision impairment in children.

Program Documents

To order Certificate of Vision Screening forms please call the Iowa Healthy Families Line at   1-800-369-2229

Acceptable Child Vision Screening Methods

With input from the Iowa Child Vision Screening Workgroup, the following child vision screening methods are approved by IDPH to meet the child vision screening requirements pursuant to the authority of Iowa Code Section 135.39D for kindergarten and third grade:

  • A comprehensive eye exam provided by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
  • A combination of scientifically-validated screening tools (used together) that includes observing signs of a vision problem (appearance, behaviors or complaints), binocular function, and visual acuity.
  • A scientifically-validated screening tool (used alone).

 Depending on the child’s age, a variety of screening tools are acceptable:

 Tools for children under the age of 6 years are (in no specific order):

  • Crowded LEA Symbols flip book
  • HOTV flip book/vision chart
  • iScreen Ophthalmic Camera
  • SPOT, Plusoptix, Welsch Allen Sure Sight (Autorefractors)
  • EyeSpy 20/20*
  • EyeSpy Mobile*
  • GoCheck Kids*

 * EyeSpy 20/20, EyeSpy Mobile and GoCheck Kids are the only acceptable computer-based and mobile-based child vision screening methods approved at this time. All other computer-based and mobile-based screening methods must be submitted to the HHS Child Vision Screening Program for approval to meet the requirements of the vision screening law. Requests for approval must be sent in writing to the Program Coordinator. Use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page and by scrolling to the bottom of the Contact HHS page.  Click on the "Contact Form for Above Topics". Select "Maternal and Child Health" as the "Subject Selection".  

Tools for children over the age of 6 years* are (in no specific order):

  • Sloan vision chart
  • HOTV vision chart
  • LEA Numbers wall chart
  • Lighthouse
  • Snellen vision chart**

** The Snellen vision chart was identified by the Iowa Child Vision Screening Workgroup as being outdated.  As of July 1, 2017, this test will no longer be included on the list of acceptable screening methods by IDPH.

For more information about child vision screening or training, please contact any of these eye health resources:

Iowa KidSight

Iowa KidSight is a joint project of the Lions Clubs of Iowa and the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, dedicated to enhancing the early detection and treatment of vision impairments in young children (target population 6 months of age through kindergarten) in Iowa communities through screening and public education.

Iowa Optometric Association

The mission of the Iowa Optometric Association (IOA) is to improve the quality, availability and accessibility of eye/vision care in Iowa, to represent the optometric profession to government, third parties and the public, and to assist members in conducting their practices successfully in accordance with the highest standards of patient care and efficiency.

Prevent Blindness Iowa

Prevent Blindness Iowa is at work in communities across Iowa with sight-saving programs for children, adults and older citizens. Prevent Blindness Iowa is a leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight through public and professional education, early detection, patient services and research. Prevent Blindness offer training and certification in adult vision screenings and children's vision screenings, and training in automated vision screening device techniques.  For more information call 1-800-329-8782

Contact Information

Amy Chebuhar MSN, RN 
Child Health/EPSDT Nurse Clinician
Iowa HHS, Bureau of Family Health
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515)-725-1760 fax