Aging & Vision Loss National Coalition

AVLNC - logo

The Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition (AVLNC) is a consortium of leaders comprised of national, state, local, private, and public agencies with the goal of advocating for equal access and quality of life for older Americans with vision loss.

Access documents, links, videos and more on the AVLNC Archive

AVLNC Leadership Academy Recording

The recording from our recent AVLNC Leadership Academy information session is now available! Please view and/or download the recording by November 30, 2021.

In addition, the slides for the presentation are also available.Questions? Please email Pris Rogers, Program Lead for this project for the AVLNC. 



Informed by nationwide structured conversations with older people with vision loss and the expertise of the Coalition members, many with over 40 years of experience in the field, the Aging & Vision Loss National Coalition has focused on the following three key priorities:

  1. Awareness: Increasing awareness among the general public, professionals, and especially seniors themselves and their families of the issues faced by older people with vision loss and the significant impact of professional vision rehabilitation services on sustaining their independence and dignity. 
  2. Funding:  Enhancing funding for vision rehabilitation services including education, training, assistive devices, and technologies for older people with vision loss.
  3. Expanding Personnel:  Expanding the pool of qualified professional vision impairment specialists, through support for university programs and incentives for healthcare students to consider this specialty; and providing broad training for allied health personnel.

Each of our key priorities has a subcommittee to oversee its progress and development. Below are the chairs of those subcommittees:

  • Public Awareness: Nancy Miller – VISIONS,  Sylvia Perez – Mississippi State University OIB-TAC
  • Data and Research: Jacci Borchardt – Vision Forward, John Crews – Retired CDC
  • Access to Quality Vision Rehabilitation Services – Neva Fairchild – AFB, Elly Du Pre – Florida Agencies Serving the Blind
  • Policy & Funding – Pris Rogers – Independent Advocate, Mark Richert – AERBVI

The AVLNC has published a public awareness flyer regarding Aging & Vision Loss; a briefing paper that will provide a comprehensive overview of American incidence & prevalence, resulting consumer needs, the inadequacy of resources and the effectiveness of vision rehabilitation services; creation of the Aging and Vision Loss Theory of Change documents; development of “promising practices” for the delivery of remote vision rehabilitation services; establishing & growing relationships with several key national organizations in the aging network including n4a, GSA and NCOA. All of these documents can be accessed in the AVLNC Document Archive or read summaries of them below. View the AVLNC Document Archive

Aging & Vision Loss Theory Of Change

Losing vision later in life is an overlooked yet rapidly growing public health crisis, which has been exacerbated by COVID-19. 

Aging and Vision Loss Theory of change graphic

In order to be Effective, Policies, Practices, and Systems in Support of Older People Living with Blindness & Low Vision must be:

  • Included in social determinants of health acknowledging the unique risks of aging with vision loss
  • Developed in collaboration with experts & older people skilled in self-advocacy
  • Culturally competent
  • Equitably funded

Three Year Plan

  • 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 eye care, 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 the Ad Council and national partners
  • The National Policy Collaborative will have a joint legislative agenda on Aging & Vision Loss 

AVLNC Three-Year Plan

AVLNC Represented Organizations:

  • Bonnielin Swenor, Wilmer Eye Institute
  • Cynthia Speight, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind
  • Clark Rachfal, American Council of the Blind
  • Elly du Pre, AERBVI
  • Greg Donnelly, The Carroll Center for the Blind
  • Mark Richert, Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Kathie Zeider, Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals
  • Kathleen Zuke, National Council on Aging
  • Kira Baldonado, Prevent Blindness
  • Lauren Branch, New View Oklahoma
  • Lee Nasehi, VisionServe Alliance
  • Matthew Haynes, AER Division on Aging
  • Mark Armstrong, Hellen Keller National Center
  • Mary Worstell, Independent Advocate
  • Melissa Allman, The Seeing Eye
  • Nancy Miller, VISIONS
  • Neva Fairchild, American Foundation for the Blind
  • Paul Schroeder, American Printing House for the Blind
  • Pris Rogers, Independent Advocate                                                       
  • Sylvia Perez, American Foundation for the Blind
  • Theresa Stern, Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Virginia Jacko, Miami Lighthouse