2021 Spring Newsletter from ISPB and Prevent Blindness IL
April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month
Prevent Blindness Illinois and the ISPB are building awareness of women’s eye health and safety this month in an effort to educate the public on the increased risk for women and vision health issues, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent vision loss. Two out of every three people living with blindness or vision problems are women, according to the National Eye Institute. Data from The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems study show that women are at higher risk for certain eye diseases and conditions.
Awareness is the key to educating women on steps they can take today to protect their vision for tomorrow. Visit our women’s health webpage to learn more about women’s eye health and safety.
Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot Issues A Proclamation for ISPB’s 105th Anniversary
In celebration of 105 years of advocating for and promoting eye care and health, Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot has proclaimed April 1, 2021 as Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness Day in Chicago. Governor J.B. Pritzker also plans to release an Illinois proclamation recognizing ISPB’s advocacy efforts.Founded in 1916, the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness was formed by a dedicated group of Illinoisans who believed that at least 50% of blindness could be prevented. More than 100 years later, the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness working alongside Prevent Blindness Illinois continue to advocate for policies and practices that reduce preventable causes of blindness.
ISPB Research Grant Cycle is Open!
Deadline is Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 Midnight (CST) ISPB offers unique grant opportunities supporting mentored pre-clinical or clinical research programs designed to foster junior investigator development while advancing clinical care in ophthalmology and optometry. Students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents are required to have a faculty mentor involved with their research.
Call for Applications – A.S.P.E.C.T. Patient Engagement Program at Prevent Blindness
The application period is now open for patients and allies (i.e. loved ones, non-profit representatives, clinicians, researchers) who wish to participate in the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program – Advocacy, Support, Perspective, Empowerment, Communication, and Training. The program is open to individuals of all ages, all eye diseases or conditions.
Prevent Blindness is recruiting 25-30 individuals for this cohort. It is free to participate! Classes will span 8 weeks from June to July 2021. Specific dates and times are to be determined based on the needs of the group.
A.S.P.E.C.T. participants will:Participate in an 8-week educational, advocacy-focused skills and knowledge building series. The sessions are 90 minutes each and held over Zoom.Learn the components of storytelling and the use of storytelling as an advocacy tool.Learn about avenues for patient-engagement and its importance (i.e. research, advisory or advocacy boards).Enjoy a sense of community in hearing the stories of their peers and in sharing and getting feedback on their own.To learn more, visit the Prevent Blindness website. If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please have them complete this brief online application.
ISPB Offers Financial Support for Visual Aids through Partnerships with Low Vision Clinics
Do you or a loved one have low vision and no resources for equipment?
ISPB is proud to partner with low vision clinics around the state to support Illinois residents of all ages. ISPB assists by purchasing low vision aids, scleral lenses, and glasses to those who cannot afford them, up to $500 in low vision device(s) per individual.
Please contact our clinic partners directly to make an appointment.
ISPB’s Low Vision Grant Program webpage provides a full listing of low vision clinics that offer financial support for visual aids through the ISPB grant.
In 2020 patients received financial assistance for low vision aids at the following partner sites: The Chicago Lighthouse, the Illinois Eye Institute in Chicago, the International Eyecare Center in Jacksonville, Lurie Children’s Hospital Division of Ophthalmology in Chicago, the Midwestern University Eye Institute in Downers Grove, and at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Prevent Blindness Leads 115 Organizations Urging Congress to Invest in Vision and Eye Health
Congress has begun its process of drafting appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2022. With the support of 115 organizations, including the ISPB, Prevent Blindness sent this letter to House and Senate appropriators to urge Congress to fund the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vision and Eye Health program at $5 million and glaucoma prevention at $4 million.
Without these investments, vision impairments will continue to come at a great cost to the United States—nearly $177 billion in 2021 with national expenditures projected to top $717 billion by 2050.