The Mission to Achieve Affordable and Accessible Eyewear
Advocacy In developing nations, poor vision can destroy a life. The good news is that exposure to care around the world is on the rise.
In the U.S., there are hundreds of programs that make eye care a possibility for its citizens. Our goal is to reach the last human needing eye care.
As a kid here, seeing your peers in eyeglasses has become the norm. When a teen gets a new pair of prescription glasses, chances are she's already posted a photo to social media with a hashtag, #foureyes, negating those negative connotations of yesteryear. What we don't often think about are those global citizens in other places and the reach of the glasses stigma in those remote locations.
The gift of sight
In India alone, over a quarter of the world's blind population live their lives with little exposure to the resources that could potentially correct their varying inabilities to see. Without these simple procedures, people in these circumstances can't have or hold a job, can't provide for their families and they can't truly experience life. Efforts are being made by many non-profit organizations, companies and individuals to create opportunities for more eye clinics to be built and staffed.
Although a standard of living surely comes into play, there is something more that motivates companies to step up and fund the surgeries, treatments or glasses for these individuals. For us, there is not a question surrounding whether we should pay the price for the ability to give an individual their sight.
The role of awareness
With exposure to care on the rise globally, what can be done about the stigma of glasses?
Information is key to the success of demolishing negative thoughts about wearing eyeglasses. Just as wearing optical lenses has become expected in the U.S., exposure on the same level globally will assist in squishing the stigma in remote locations.
Working to make the population see the benefits is our purpose. Community outreach, involvement and exposure on a global scale are the ways in which we can make it happen.