Aging and Vision Loss Three Year Plan


To ensure all older people with vision loss receive high quality comprehensive specialized vision rehabilitation including low vision services by focusing the healthcare, aging and vision rehabilitation communities on:

  • the unique challenges of the combined experience of vision loss and aging;
  • the impact of that combined event on the socio-economic life of our nation; and
  • the need to work together to advance research, policy & funding that maximizes the positive contributions of older people living with vision loss.


The combined aging and vision rehabilitation expertise in collaboration with consumers and advocacy partners uniquely positions AVLNC to engage the aging, healthcare and vision rehabilitation networks in essential program and policy changes.

Three-Year Target

by December 31, 2023

  • AVLNC will have strategic alliances with national partners and policy champions who agree to include aging & vision loss in federal legislation and other policy documents
  • The Surgeon General will issue a report on the Impact of Aging and Vision Loss based upon the recommendations that came out of the NASEM workshops
  • Vision-related research recommended by NASEM will be underway; some completed and in report status for Surgeon General consideration
  • A national interagency committee on Aging & Vision Loss will be established and meeting in a meaningful way (in accordance with the 2016 NASEM recommendations)
  • Older people with vision loss are included as a targeted population in aging policy, public health initiatives (i.e. Healthy People 2030) and health coverage
  • Eyecare professionals recognize that vision rehabilitation is a part of the continuum of care and appropriate referrals are made routinely
  • Older people with vision loss are trained & mobilized to advocate for policy change
  • Federal funding for older people with blindness and low vision will be increased; at a minimum OIB Funding will be increased tenfold and regular cost of living increases thereafter will have been enacted
  • Other funding at state and local levels will be available and utilized by community-based vision rehabilitation providers
  • The field of Vision Rehabilitation will have adopted practice and program standards
  • Outcome measures will be collected routinely by vision rehabilitation providers and shared with research partners for the purposes of establishing evidence-                                                   based programs
  • Federal grants will be available again for the establishment of new community-based vision rehabilitation programs in severely underserved parts of the nation
  • University programs for eyecare, occupational therapy, geriatrician & gerontology professionals will include aging and vision loss curricula and facilitate practicum opportunities in community-based vision rehabilitation programs; and those for vision rehabilitation will include specific aging curricula
  • Best practices for the combination of Aging & Vision Rehabilitation Services will have been established, rolled out and accepted by both professional networks
  • Clinical data on eye disease/condition and acuity/specific vision loss will be routinely collected nationally and reported (including counting all older people with vision loss)
  • National Awareness Campaign on Aging & Vision Loss (based upon the Frameworks Institute recommendations) is funded, executed and adopted by national partners
  • The National Policy Collaborative will have a joint legislative agenda on Aging & Vision Loss

Targeted Sector/Market Segments:

  • Eyecare professionals: ophthalmologists and optometrists
  • Other Medical professionals: geriatricians and gerontologists and OT’s
  • Aging Policy Makers: Administration on Community Living (including CIL’s), National council on Aging, National Area Agencies on Aging, Gerontological Society of America, AARP, Area Agencies on Aging, Long-term Care Providers, Assisted Living
  • Healthcare Policy Makers: CDC, NEI, NIH, CMS, Surgeon General, Home Healthcare Agencies and staff
  • Older People (including those with vision loss) and Their Families
  • Elected Officials at the federal and state levels
  • ACB, NFB, BVA, FFB, NOAH (Consumer Associations)
  • Research Partners including NASEM and CDC
  • Universities with Relevant Personnel Preparation Programs
  • Vision Rehabilitation Community: Community-based service providers, national organizations, RSA, DOE, state agencies, TAC’s

Two-Year Picture

by December 31, 2022

  • AER Higher Education Accreditation Commission (HEAC) will have mandated a comprehensive aging curricula
  • The Coalition will have developed the framework and hired the firm for the National Awareness Campaign
  • Substantive communication with the AD Council will have occurred and application submitted
  • Will be presenting at all relevant major Aging Conferences
  • National vision rehabilitation service/outcome data will have started being collected
  • The Coalition will have established a collaborative relationship with at least 6 National Organizational Partners
  • The Congressional Vision Caucus will have established an Aging Focus
  • Vision-related research recommended by NASEM will be underway
  • A Surgeon General’s Report on Aging & Vision Loss will be in discussion
  • The Coalition will be conducting/coordinating Consumer Advocacy Training
  • Will have established a relationship with the Congressional Physicians Caucus
  • Funding mechanism in place to support the AVLNC Initiatives
  • Will have developed the OIB Cost of Living strategy and language and supported by the blindness community

One Year Plan

December 31, 2021

One-Year Plan: January 1 – December 31, 2021


AVLNC Steering Committee and VSA AVLNC Staff,Co-Chaired by Lauren Branch, NewView Oklahoma and Lee Nasehi, VSA; Mark Richert, Ben Leigh and New Specialist Position –

Public Awareness Committee, Co-Chaired by Sylvia Perez, MSU OIB-TAC, and Nancy Miller, VISIONS

Policy & Funding Committee, Co-Chaired by Mark Richert, VSA/AERBVI, and Pris Rogers, AFB/Advocate

  • Develop supporting materials and tools for use with the Coalition and related stakeholders, e.g. one-pagers to comprise a take action toolkit; start development of advocacy training program for older people with vision loss.

Data & Research Committee, Co-Chaired by John Crews, retired CDC, and Jaclyn Borchardt, Vision Forward

Access to Quality Vision Rehabilitation Services Committee, Co-Chaired by Neva Fairchild, AFB and AERBVI, and Elly duPre, FASB and AERBVI

  • repare a tool kit, and recruit people locally to present at Aging Network Conferences, on the screening tool developed by New View Oklahoma. Spreading the word about the screening tool and what the ROI of using it is.

2021 Committee Q1 Rocks

Awareness Committee Objectives

  1. MSU select ad agency for the campaign by Jan. 1, 2021
  2. Reach out to the Reframing Institute to get feedback for the campaign. Include AVLC info as well. (Jan. 30, 2021)
  3. Enlist 50 agencies to disseminate the awareness flyer to their aging and social service networks and track results of referrals-start with VSA members (Feb. 1, 2021, for dissemination and report back results on 8/1/2021)
  4. Develop awareness campaign and toolkit (MSU) and disseminate (7/1/2021)
  5. Ensure that at least 50 agencies in 10 states have the awareness toolkit and training on how to promote awareness and use the tools. (Nov. 1, 2021)      

Funding and Policy Committee Objectives

  1. To complete an aging and vision loss “message bill” that includes components that provide comprehensive services and supports to promote independence and quality of life for older people with vision loss (and find sponsor or support)—including determining ask for OIB funding and needed language changes in the ACT and get buy-in from blindness advocacy groups – (03/15/21)
  2. Building relationships with key stakeholder partners (build connections with other coalitions, such as Prevent Blindness as relates to Vision Caucus about specific asks
  3. Development of supporting materials and tools for us and related stakeholders—one-pagers as part of take action toolkit and start development of an advocacy training program for older people with vision loss – (06/01/21)

Data & Research Committee

  • Schedule first seminar on data driven science.
  • Establish Subcommittee to start research article search and compilation of list of suggested articles for bibliography, group to compile at least 10 articles.
  • Hold Initial meetings with key people currently working on outcomes.

Access to Quality Services

  • Create a screening tool to share and help train the aging network
    • Used in tandem with Awareness Committee to build relationships with partners in the aging network
  • Creating a standardized course through MSU to teach an approved curriculum
  • Create a relationship with partners about standardized
  • Conversation with local partners on who on their staff could benefit from a free online course on improved standardized services from MSU
    • TVI, CVRT, certified professionals
    • Test with early adopters
  • No wrong door
    • Expanding the ways in which resources can be accessed through aging, medical, vision “doors”
  • Federal qualified health centers looking to expand eye care – Community Health Centers
    • Getting them connects with resources to refer to LV/Blindness
    • Many do not know what resources are available for eyecare beyond basics (glasses/refractory)
  • Identify care centers with ophthalmologists/optometrists on staff
    • Gather how many hours/services they offer
    • Share quality (benefits/$$$) of expanding eyecare to LV/blindness and referral services to LV rehab local services
    • Demonstrate ROI to LV/blindness involvement