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Bentley announces grant for vision screenings for seniors

Gov. Robert Bentley announced a $50,000 grant to provide free vision screenings for seniors in Chilton, Coosa, Elmore, Hale and Pickens counties.

The grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission will help Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Association offer the screenings and coordinate follow-up care to seniors and other vulnerable groups in rural areas.

“Vision screenings are an important part of overall good health care,” Bentley said in a release. “I am pleased that this grant will help provide vital vision screenings to residents in these underserved areas.”

The Birmingham-based nonprofit organization will work with local senior centers, nursing homes and other local partners to set up about 25 three-day screening events in the five counties. They anticipate seeing about 1,500 patients.

Bentley notified William Dean, the association’s executive director, that the grant had been approved.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama.

Congress established the ARC in 1965 as a supplemental grant program to raise the standard of living, improve the quality of life and promote economic development in portions of the 13 Appalachian mountain states. Thirty-seven Alabama counties are part of the ARC area.

ADECA manages a wide range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, energy conservation, water resource management and recreation.