Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition (AVLNC)
Advancing crucial issues facing the vision loss field to help transform the lives of people facing blindness and low vision
VisionServe Alliance leads the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition (AVLNC), a consortium of 160+ organizations and leaders of national, state, local, private, and public agencies who advocate for increased access and enhanced quality of life for older Americans with blindness and low vision.
Addressing Critical National Challenges
The Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition (AVLNC) empowers older adults to age in place, primarily through vision rehabilitation services and training. Vision rehabilitation imparts the skills necessary to continue living a safe, confident, and meaningful life with blindness and low vision. These services improve quality of life by providing everyday strategies for increased function, well-being, and independence. Vision rehabilitation generates enormous cost savings for seniors, their families, and taxpayers – in many cases by delaying or eliminating the need to enter assisted living or other high-cost facilities.
Although Vision Rehabilitation services provide life-changing benefits and substantial long-term cost savings, less than 5% of older people with blindness or low vision currently receive vision rehabilitation services. AVLNC seeks to change that!
Achieving Our Goals
Informed by nationwide structured conversations with older people with blindness and low vision and the extensive expertise of Coalition members, the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition focuses on these three top priorities:
Increasing awareness among the public, professionals, older adults, and their families about the most relevant issues facing older adults with blindness and low vision and identifying the vital role that vision rehabilitation and other services play in sustaining safety, independence, and dignity. Enjoy our recent American Society on Aging and National Council on Aging articles.
Maximizing funding for vision rehabilitation services, including education, training, assistive devices, and technologies for older people with blindness and low vision. Access to these types of services is a major barrier that negatively impacts independence and quality of life
Building a growing base of qualified professional vision impairment specialists through support for university programs and incentives for healthcare students to consider this specialty while providing training for allied health personnel.
Committees Guide AVLNC’s Plan to Ensure Success
Access to Quality Services Committee
Advocating for the inclusion of aging and low vision in degree programs for those entering the fields of gerontology, occupational therapy, and other related areas that serve older adults. This committee also addresses the need to recruit newcomers to the aging and vision loss field.
Data and Research Committee
Launched the ground-breaking Big Data Project industry reports identifying vision impairment and its factors at the state- and county levels. Learn more and view the free National Report and published state reports. Added state reports will be published soon with the goal to provide these reports in all 50 states. Data and Research’s Article and Data Repository identifies and shares pertinent research articles and quarterly webinars.
Policy and Funding Committee
Introducing and cultivating bipartisan support for Teddie-Joy’s Law is a top priority. Aimed at increasing funding for services, this law addresses the needs of older people with blindness and low vision and encompasses multiple federal agencies. This effort is held jointly with the VSA Public Policy Committee, which has two working groups, the Transportation Working Group, and the Medicare Working Group.
Public Awareness Committee
Seeks to reframe how Americans view vision loss by raising national awareness of the issues affecting adults with blindness and low vision while connecting those individuals with vision rehabilitation and other services.
We need talented leaders and volunteers to advance our life-changing work. Volunteer personally or nominate someone from your team for this unique professional development and visibility opportunity.
Contact Helen Chapman or Libby Murphy to join one of these committees.
Click on a committee link above to view AVLNC’s Three-Year Plan and access committee resources in critical focus areas. Added AVLNC resources are also available below.
Vision Rehabilitation Brief
Read the Vision Impairment and Vision Rehabilitation in the Lives of Older People in the United States report to learn more about the critical issues addressed by the Aging and Vision Loss National Coalition. View the brief.
AVLNC Theory of Change
Learn more about our Theory of change and our goal to reframe vision loss. Learn even more about our AVLNC Committees.
AVLNC Archive & Resources
View the many documents available in the AVLNC Archive. AVLNC has developed a broad range of resources and presentation materials for the Big Data Project. Also provided are several videos that explain the Big Data Project. Want to make a Big Data presentation? Please contact Libby Murphy to discuss current and custom presentation options.
See our AVLNC Represented Organizations
Interested in Becoming an AVLNC Partner organization? Contact Libby Murphy today.
Importance of the Work we do
“I have used AVLNC’s NY Big Data Report to advocate for increased funding for the older blind population. I use it in testimony for hearings and town hall meetings with elected officials. The county information is especially useful along with the county prevalence rates. It is alarming to see the high prevalence rate in the Latino/Hispanic older population,. This reinforces the need for culturally sensitive outreach and services including staff that are bi-cultural as well as bi-lingual.”Nancy D. Miller, Executive Director & CEO
VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired & Co-Chair, AVLNC Public Awareness Committee
“From the earliest part of my career, just starting out as an O&M instructor, I was drawn to working with older people who were blind or visually impaired. I know there are so many older people who can still achieve new goals and inspire everyone they know to live to their fullest. It takes access to quality services. AVLNC has 4 main committees and at least a dozen working groups tackling the questions of how to make it possible for every one to keep living their best lives.”Elly du Pré, DPA,
Accreditation Manager, AER &
Co-Chair, AVLNC Access to Quality Services Committee
“With the population of seniors with vision loss growing exponentially, and current estimates indicating that only 3% of this population are receiving the services they need to remain living independently, the term “Crisis” is an understatement. In order to address this quality of service and inadequate funding crisis, it is imperative that the proposed Teddie-Joy’s Law be acted upon by Congress.”Jeff Thom
AVLNC Steering Committee