Annual Report

Below is our 2022 Annual Report. You can click on it to see a larger version.


Who We Serve

LVS services directly impact the blind and visually impaired population in South Carolina living in poverty, specifically those living at or below roughly 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines. Most of this population (63% on average) is uninsured. Client demographic data reveals that LVS programs disproportionately serve higher numbers of ethnic minority populations than is representative of the population, allowing our programs to reach communities which have historically experienced a lack of resources to achieve adequate vision and eye health.

Roughly 17% of LVS clients are diabetic and approximately 59% are women. Employment status varies with 31% being employed, 28% unemployed, 21% retired, 19% disabled, and 1% student. The average age of an LVS client is 58.

LVS Client Demographics

membership services charts

Grounding Definitions


A condition of well-being for children, adults, families or communities.


A measure which helps quantify the achievement of a result.


A measure of how well a program, agency or service is working.

Turn the Curve Thinking

Our focus must be on the desired end state of our clients: LVS empowers the blind and visually impaired to live safe, meaningful, and fulfilling lives. Our programs are the means by which we do this, but they are not the end state.

LVS utilizes a framework known as Results Based Accountability (RBA). This concept is based on Mark Friedman’s book Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough, and was first introduced to LVS by our philanthropic partners at the Coastal Community Foundation of SC. Now championed by an increasing number of funders, this framework helps LVS create better Client Population data on the individuals we are serving rather than relying on Whole Population data that may not reflect local circumstances.

You can think of the RBA Framework as a quadrant of metrics:


What did we do?

How much service did we deliver?

How well did we do it?

How well did we deliver service?


Is anyone better off (#)

How much change for the better did we produce?

Is anyone better off (%)

What quality of change for the better did we produce?

While each of these metrics is valuable, the bottom right quadrant is the most important. This quadrant measures improvements in our Client Population. These measures are outcomes. The least important quadrant would be the top left. While it is helpful to know how much we did, these metrics are outputs and do not tell us what change our clients actually experienced.

Utilizing a pre- and post-service survey, LVS tracks a variety of quantitative and qualitative measures. Our 2022 Fiscal Year impact is illustrated below.


What did we do?

Direct Services:

  • 2 vision screening events
  • 9 eye exams
  • 46 eyeglasses
  • 68 eye surgeries
  • 6 vision technology items
  • 34 hearing aids
  • 71 Blind Fishing attendees

612 people served

28 counties in SC served (27 LY)

  • Provided service in 8 new counties not served in the previous year.
  • Was unable to provide service in 7 counties that did receive service the previous year.
  • 7 of 12 high priority counties served (up from 3 LY).

How well did we do it?

Achieved a $1:$4 ROI on programs through in-kind support (consistent from $1:$4 ROI last year).

  • The Eye Surgery Program specifically achieved a $1:$5 ROI

79 healthcare provider partners engaged (up from 60 LY)

Average Cost Per Unit:

  • Eye Exams: $258.01
  • Eyeglasses: $269.20
  • Eye Surgeries: $1,544.97
  • Vision Technology: $1,095.34
  • Hearing Aids: $1,716.00
  • Blind Fishing: $250.00/person

52% minority clients (up from 49% LY)

26 clients approved for but unable to receive eye surgery due to limited funding.

  • 13 incomplete applications
  • 23 applications sent, not returned


Is anyone better off (#)

Direct Services:

  • 8 eye exam clients received quality eyecare to diagnose and treat vision loss.
  • 46 eyeglass clients received a free pair of eyeglasses to restore sight.
  • 48 eye surgery clients have saved or restored sight.
  • 6 vision technology clients can live safely and independently.
  • 71 Blind Fishing clients and caregivers experienced improved quality of life through social interaction.
  • 18 hearing aid clients have hearing restored.

Is anyone better off (%)

An average of a 58% increase in quality of life for all LVS clients (up from 45% LY).

A 75% success rate in clients seeking to pass a DMV vision test as a result of LVS services (not applicable this year).

An 81% increase in clients’ understanding of vision health following participation in an LVS program.

Equity in Eye Care

There are a variety of causes of vision impairment which vary by ethnicity in the United States. These distinctions remind us of the vast disparities in vision health as in many other fields of public health as well. Utilizing a 2016 study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine we can compare this national data with our program data in South Carolina to gauge our success in addressing some of the most pressing vision health issues in our community.

Across the board cataracts are the most prevalent cause of low vision in every ethnic population (59.2% for White persons, 50.9% for Black persons, and 46.7% for Hispanic persons). Many of the LVS Eye Surgery clients fall into this category of “low vision” as they are not yet legally blind. Cataracts accounted for 72% of all LVS eye surgeries in the last year, underscoring the prevalence of this trend.

However, when we evaluate the causes of blindness by ethnicity, we see disparities begin to emerge. The most prominent cause of blindness in Black persons is cataracts (36.8%), in Hispanic persons is glaucoma (28.6%), and in White persons is age-related Macular Degeneration (54.4%).

impact; key performance indicators; results; outcomes; return on investment, Our Impact, Lions Vision Services

We believe the trend in our program data indicates a particular success with regards to preventing blindness among African American clients. Last year 70.6% of all eye surgeries for Black persons at LVS were cataract surgeries. This means we are significantly decreasing the likelihood that Black persons who apply for eye surgery through LVS will ultimately succumb to the most prevalent form of vision loss within their ethnic population.

Similarly, cataracts are the leading cause of low vision for white persons (59.2%) and 90.3% of all eye surgeries for white persons at LVS were cataract surgeries.

For Hispanic persons, there is a more evenly disbursed propensity for the leading cause of blindness being Glaucoma (28.6%), other eye conditions (28.6%), cataracts (14.3%), diabetic retinopathy (14.3%), or age-related Macular Degeneration (14.3%). Interestingly, Hispanic persons at LVS had the most evenly disbursed array of eye surgeries performed during the year, including 30.8% for diabetic retinopathy, 23.1% for cataracts, 23.1% for pterygiums, 7.7% for retinas, 7.7% for glaucoma, and 7.7% for strabismus. We believe this indicates improved equity in eye surgery performance for Hispanic clients during the last year.

impact; key performance indicators; results; outcomes; return on investment, Our Impact, Lions Vision Services

We have work still to do to refine these results and move our program performance closer towards the industry benchmarks for equity, but this trend is encouraging to our staff that we are impacting social determinants of health in the communities we are serving.

Find Out More

Do you need information about obtaining affordable health insurance in South Carolina, including marketplace plans, Medicare, and Medicaid? Please click on the link below for resources on health insurance in South Carolina.

NOTE: This information is provided by a third party and is not affiliated with or endorsed by Lions Vision Services.

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