Five Innovations that Shaped OneSight

Five Innovations that Shaped OneSight

Exploring the innovations that have shaped the charity and celebrate the creative spirit of our volunteers.


If you’ve ever stepped onto a Vision Van, fitted a child with Chabellas, or volunteered in a Resource Center, you have some innovative associates to thank. As we recognize OneSight's 25th anniversary, we explore innovations that have shaped the charity and celebrate the creative spirit of our volunteers.

The Chabella

During a Clinic in 1994, Volunteer and LensCrafters Lab Manager Paul Craven noticed that eyewear inventory was not appropriate for children. He headed back to his lab to create what is now known as the “Chabella,” a small round frame, perfect for a child’s face. Since Chabella frames are universal, lenses manufactured prior to the Clinic will not need edging. The axis can be adjusted for each person prior to assembling thanks to the round shape of the frame.

Vision Vans

In 1995 the first Vision Van rolled onto the scene and gave OneSight the wheels it needed to reach more people in need domestically. “We realized that we weren’t able to get care to the children in North America without them coming to our stores,” said Angie Hartman, Senior Manager, OneSight. “The Vision Vans gave us a ‘store on wheels’ without a cash register to take to the schools and revolutionized the way we provided care.”

Resource Centers

Around the same time the Vision Vans were hitting the road, the first OneSight Resource Center opened at the corporate headquarters in Ohio. The center was initially configured to accept recycled eyewear collected from LensCrafters (and, later, Luxottica retail) stores. Now 10 centers total, each one is outfitted with equipment needed to inspect eyewear, determine a frame’s Rx, tag frames and prepare product for OneSight programs.

Resource Centers will continue to evolve to support OneSight’s needs. The Atlanta Center will change into a surfacing lab later this year to provide eyewear for sustainable programs. 

Inventory Management System

Imagine hunting through thousands of frames to find one that would help a person in need. That was what was required before OneSight developed an inventory management system (IMS) to keep track of eyewear and make specific prescriptions easily accessible during Clinics.

Angie Hartman partnered with IT to develop the IMS 14 years ago. “We were able to reach 20-25 percent more people because of the technology,” Angie said. “It is so much easier to select the right product for the person, and it maximized the quality time for the doctor and patient.”

The IMS continues to evolve, including a tablet version of the system that is currently being tested.

Vision Clinics

The concept of bringing access to eye care – including doctors, equipment and eyewear – to a remote part of the world is a testament to the innovative spirit of OneSight. But OneSight didn’t stop there – Clinic models continue to change to help more people more often.

“You test, you learn, and then you establish what that process needs to look like based on what you’ve learned,” Angie said. Sustainable Clinics – a portfolio of initiatives designed to increase OneSight’s social impact and leave lasting access – are the latest evolution in the Clinic model. Sustainable work is already underway in The Gambia, China and in North America.

The development of sustainable initiatives doesn’t eliminate the need for traditional models. “Sustainability is our future, but we will leverage our traditional model to be a front door for sustainable Clinics,” Angie said.

As you can see, OneSight’s history of innovations started with the imaginative spirit of volunteers – a spirit that will continue to find new ways to improve the lives of people around the world.

Published on Dec 03 2013