NEW YORK—Companies, organizations and eyecare professionals around the world are finalizing their plans to encourage eye health awareness, access to eyecare for the underserved and to commit pledges to #LoveYourEyes for this year's World Sight Day, tomorrow, Oct. 14. Events and initiatives are being planned across North America and around the world to bring attention to the cause as many groups support the International  Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) goal to pledge at least one million to get their eyes tested.
The World Council of Optometry is among those organizations contributing to that cause and to make that pledge as individuals or groups.

Optometry Giving Sight is among the groups organizing to generate donations and pledges to that cause as well. Major corporate partners are working individually, among their employees, through volunteer efforts and other special events on World Sight Day.

Orbis International, a leading nonprofit dedicated toward fighting avoidable blindness, recently released a new PSA urging the public to get their eyes checked. The 30-second public service announcement (PSA) (see below) is titled "See What You'd Miss.” It focuses on why it’s important to get your eyes checked and is being shared on broadcast and social media channels.

As VM previously reported, OneSight is joining many other organizations to launch a global landmark activation, where consumers across the world can see eye checks at some of the most recognizable landmarks around the world, from Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro and the London Tower Bridge to The Gateway to India and New York’s Brooklyn Bridge. This initiative launched in September of this year.
OneSight joins the other vision care supporters in the IAPB's international campaign as part of their commitment to bringing vision care access to the 1.1 billion people worldwide who need it. Tonight, on the eve of World Sight Day, OneSight  will check kids’ vision and showcase the highly recognizable Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York.
“While these landmarks represent some of the most recognizable sights in the world, more than 1 billion people globally lack the ability to see them clearly,” said K-T Overbey, president and executive director, OneSight. “This vision care gap can hold individuals back from education, employment and the ability to achieve their full potential.”

Consumers globally are invited to follow along from New York City, to Tanzania and beyond, to see some of the most recognizable landmarks in the world and learn more about the importance of vision care.
Landmarks featured will include:

  • New York, U.S.—Brooklyn Bridge
  • Tanzania—Mount Kilimanjaro
  • London—Tower Bridge
  • India—The Gateway to India
  • New Zealand—Bluff Point
  • Nepal—Fishtail Mountain
  • California, U.S.—Santa Barbara Beach
Other key locations include Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Dubai, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Guatemala, and Paraguayan Chaco. 
To follow along and see eye checks take place at landmark locations around the world, visit the IAPB’s social media platforms on October 13 and 14.

Further, on Thursday, Prevent Blindness  will be joining other vision health organizations in sponsoring Vision 2020 USA’s annual World Sight Day Congressional Briefing. This virtual event will take place from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. ET, and will address the topic of Diversity, Access and Eye Care: Concepts and Clinical Realities.  Moderated by John M. Barrows, Chair of Vision 2020 USA, speakers will include:

  • Joy Harewood, OD, FAAO, Dipl ABO—Director for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging & associate clinical professor at SUNY College of Optometry
  • Kevin Frick, PhD—Professor in Economics and Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
VMAIL has reported on several multi-pronged World Sight Day 2021 initiatives, among them the IAPB #LoveYour Eyes Photo Competition, the RestoringVision/Visibly/NewGlobe efforts and an overview of IAPB and its partners' global push to bring awareness to eyecare during World Sight Day.