Editorial by Dan Roberts, Editor-in-Chief
Since 1908, Prevent Blindness has been living up to its name by educating the public about early prevention and detection. It has done this by way of vision screenings, educational programs, research support, and advocacy. But the organization hasn’t stopped there. It realizes that preventing blindness means more than deterring onset of visual impairment. Secondarily, “blindness” means “unawareness”. So the other half of the organization’s mission is to prevent unawareness through knowledge and support.
Medical and surgical interventions can sometimes prevent, and even cure, loss of eyesight. Those tactics are not yet enough, but we can meanwhile prevent blindness by its second definition. We can learn alternative ways of seeing. We can persuade others to avoid blinding us culturally and environmentally. We can influence legislation and public opinion by raising awareness about the cost of vision loss and the rights of our low vision community. If we do not make these efforts, we will become blind in every sense. And if we allow society to be ignorant of low vision issues, it, too, will be blind. We will all be “without understanding; that have eyes and see not”. (Jeremiah 5:21)
Prevent Blindness is dedicated to not only nipping ophthalmic blindness in the bud, but to averting social and intellectual blindness, as well. Through our efforts, and with the continued support of caring individuals and organizations, preventing blindness can move from aspiration to reality.