CONNECTICUT - State and local leaders met in Bridgeport Saturday to announce a plan that will help low-income women get free vision care.

Officials spoke at a news conference at the Mercy Learning Center, for a not-for-profit school for women in need. The center helps women earn their GEDs and also teaches basic life skills. The Connecticut Student Nurses Association says it worked with the school and found many students were having trouble learning because they couldn't afford vision care.  

The Needs Clearing House has now arranged to get free vision care for Mercy's students by working with local vendors.  

Officials with the learning center say that even though their primary focus is on education, they'd like to help women break through other barriers, especially in health care.

It's good news for Rosa Gonzales, a single mother who uses a wheelchair. She says she's always dreamed of completing her education, but her poor vision has impeded her progress, and she can't afford vision care.

The learning center says Gonzales will be able to apply for the program in January.