Spherix Global Insights

November 16, 2022

The Importance of Advocacy and Community Allyship

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 2.2 billion people globally have a near or distance vision impairment. In at least 1 billion – or almost half – of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.1

The majority of people with vision impairment and blindness are over the age of 50 years old; though vision loss can affect people of all ages. Of those with preventable low vision impairment, leading causes include unaddressed refractive errors, cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.1

Vision impairments can severely impact a person’s quality of life and rob individuals of their independence, leading to low rates of workforce participation, reduced productivity, and high rates of anxiety and depression. As one ages, vision impairments can lead to higher risks of falls and injury, social isolation, and the potential for an early entry into a nursing home or care facility.2

However, there are ways to help people living with low vision so they can continue to lead full and rich lives. For over 90 years, the Vision Resource Center of Berks County (VCR) has helped prevent blindness, increase awareness of vision-related health issues, and enabled visually impaired residents to lead independent and productive lives within the community.3

Today, I had the honor of joining the Board of VCR, an organization that provides 400 direct services to the visually impaired across Berks County Pennsylvania and has conducted over 3,000 Children’s sight screening services in the community. VCR is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of the Blind, the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Reading Chamber of Business and Industry.3

I look forward to the next two years partnering with this amazing organization to help improve the lives of the visually impaired across the county.