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.

To order Certificate of Vision Screening forms, 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 Iowa HHS 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 and developmental level, a variety of screening tools are acceptable. 

 Tools for children under the age of 6 years

  • Crowded LEA Symbols flip book

  • HOTV flip book/vision chart

  • iScreen Ophthalmic Camera

  • SPOT, Plusoptix, Welch Allyn 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. 

Tools for children over the age of 6 years

  • Sloan vision chart

  • HOTV vision chart

  • LEA Numbers wall chart

  • Lighthouse

Computer-based, mobile-based, and camera screeners such as the SPOT screener may be used for children over the age of 6 who have certain conditions making it difficult for them to provide the necessary verbal feedback required when using a wall chart.

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

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