National President, Canadian Council of the Blind
President & CEO, Fighting Blindness Canada
On behalf of the Canadian Council of the Blind and Fighting Blindness Canada, we’d like to thank you for reading Vision 2020: Living with Vision Loss.
We’re living at an exciting moment in history. Research is beginning to deliver treatments for the over 5.6 million Canadians living with an eye condition that puts them at risk of losing their sight. If diagnosed early enough, three out of four can avoid blindness. It’s also a time when innovative new treatments that not only prevent vision loss but also restore sight are becoming a reality.
These developments hold important implications for our vision loss community. We need to be prepared for them — we need to support Canadian researchers and vision scientists in developing Canadian-made solutions to vision loss, while also ensuring that Canada’s health care system is prepared to meet the radical shift posed by the arrival of innovative treatments such as gene and stem cell therapies.
We also need to develop tangible solutions to the unique financial and social inequities faced by the vision loss community. We need to present a unified front to federal and provincial decision-makers by offering solutions to the mounting costs associated with vision health care. This is particularly important as the number of people living with vision loss, which stands at 1.5 million Canadians reporting a vision impairment, continues to grow. Most importantly, we need to continue to impress on all Canadians that they get regular eye examinations and that some vision loss is avoidable.
That’s why on February 12, we’re hosting the Canadian Vision 2020 Summit in Ottawa. We invite you to join our distinguished panellists in conversations about vision research, living with vision loss, and access to vision health care. As a valued member of our community, your perspective is essential in developing solutions to the challenges we all face.
Thank you for reading. Together, we can find ways to avoid vision loss and restore sight to those who have lost it.