EyeMobile for Children

About Community Ophthalmology

The Division of Community Ophthalmology at Shiley Eye Institute is dedicated to developing and implementing model programs that serve two diverse segments of San Diego’s population, our county’s preschool children and research. These unique programs have been embraced throughout the community and are improving the quality of life for thousands.

UCSD Shiley EyeMobile

Launched in 1999, UCSD’s Shiley EyeMobile for Children program is located in the Community Ophthalmology Division of the UC San Diego Shiley Eye Institute and is entirely made possible by partnering with the community.

Our program is the only one of its kind in San Diego! With the EyeMobile for Children program, we screen and care for vision disorders for thousands of young children who would not otherwise have access to this vital medical screening and care.

This is truly a model program in community ophthalmology and in overcoming the transportation, language, cultural and financial barriers that families with children often face. We now reach over 250 locations each year throughout San Diego County.

Our Mission

The mission of the UCSD EyeMobile for Children is to give young children the vision they need to succeed in school and in life by identifying, treating and preventing vision disorders.

The EyeMobile Model

The UCSD EyeMobile for Children at the Shiley Eye Institute is an unprecedented program that serves as a community health model in overcoming barriers to care for the underserved.

Keys to our success include the use of the latest information technologies including electronic medical records, a dedicated multilingual staff, student and community volunteers.

Our program follows the model below.

At school locations throughout San Diego County

At preschool eye examination by an optometrist for those children referred from a vision screening

If needed, glasses are provided at no cost and delivered to the school location

Follow-up at preschool to test visual acuity

With parents and teachers for all children wearing glasses

As having other serious eye conditions are referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist

Provide information about eye health and early childhood vision care to families and teachers

Longitudinal learning ability assessment

Our Numbers Tell Our Story: Community Outreach

Since the start of the UCSD EyeMobile in 2000, the program has made great strides in serving the San Diego community.

2000-2020 Cumulatively

  • 238,642 vision screenings
  • 32,327 comprehensive dilated eye exams
  • 983 high-risk children detected
  • 13,882 free glasses given


  • 2,557 vision screenings
  • 644 comprehensive dilated eye exams
  • 43 high-risk children detected
  • 21 free prescription glasses given