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AVLNC Awareness Campaign Resources

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Aging and Vision Loss Three Year Plan

Purpose

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.

Niche

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

Goals:

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
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Dean VanNasdale, OD, PhD Bio

Dean VanNasdale, OD, PhD, received his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University in 2003 and completed a cornea and contact lens residency at Indiana University in 2004. He received a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research and a PhD degree in Vision Science from Indiana University in 2011.

Dean VanNasdale headshot
A.J Zanyk Photography 2014

Dr. VanNasdale has a research focus in population health data analysis.  Using multiple, complementary datasets, he studies associations between health determinants and vision impairment on a local, county, state, and national scale.  The goal of this research is to improve insight into the underlying cause of vision impairment, identify common co-morbid conditions, and educate stakeholders on the magnitude of vision impairment.  This analysis helps quantify the impact of vision impairment, identify areas where resources are needed to reduce vision impairment, and inform policy development. 

Dr. VanNasdale also has a research focus in advanced retinal imaging and visual function, with an emphasis on normal aging changes and pathological changes associated with diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and traumatic brain injury.  Using specific light/tissue interactions, he studies novel biomarkers for sight threatening disease and identifies changes to the normally well-ordered retinal structure. The goal of this research is to distinguish normal aging changes from those related to sight-threatening pathology and to detect retinal damage earlier in the disease process, using both commercially available and laboratory-based instruments.

Dr. VanNasdale teaches Public Health and Environmental Vision to third year optometry students and is an instructor in the Contact Lens Services at Ohio State’s College of Optometry, where he also studies visual performance and complications associated with contact lens wear.  He holds leadership roles in academic and health advocacy organizations at the local, state, and national level.  In 2019, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Project Award by the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association Vision Care Section and in 2020 was the Distinguished Service Award recipient. 

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Lou Moneymaker Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Lou was present with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the VisionServe 2019 conference in Atlanta

Lou presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Lee Nasehi and John Mitchell during the Atlanta conferences

Lou Moneymaker, former President of BOSMA Enterprises

Lou Moneymaker has dedicated his life to service. For 50 years, Lou has worked to create equal opportunities and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired. His passion is evidenced by his work and service to many organizations to empower people experiencing vision loss.

His career began at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) where he was a teacher and a coach. Over his tenure, he also served in several leadership positions. As a track and field and wrestling coach, he fostered students’ abilities and their confidence until they believed they could accomplish anything they put their minds to. After 33 years, Lou retired from education.

In 2001, a career change was presented to Lou. He left ISBVI but did not leave his service to people who are blind or visually impaired. He became the president and CEO of Bosma Enterprises. Under his leadership, Bosma has undergone explosive growth from a $2 million to a $70 million company. To date, Bosma is Indiana’s largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired. Under Lou’s direction, the company positioned itself as a national leader in the field of employment of people with vision loss by becoming the first not-for-profit in the country to build a fully-integrated, end-to-end business system on the Salesforce platform that is accessible to a person with vision loss. The new system allows a person who is blind to work in any position throughout the company and opens opportunities that may not have been available before.

Improving the Workplace

Additionally, under Lou’s leadership, Bosma Enterprises moved into a brand-new state-of-the-art headquarters that was designed to be accessible. His leadership has also allowed for the growth of Bosma’s programs and the development of the Center of Visionary Solutions for the Blind, a new facility that increases space for programs and expands training of people who are blind. His entrepreneurial spirit has permeated the organization which has challenged every employee to look for new ways to grow the business and to further Bosma’s mission to create opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

His commitment to serving others does not stop at his work. In 1976, Lou, along with three other leaders saw an opportunity to create more opportunities for athletes who were blind. During the 1976 Olympics for the Disabled (renamed the Paralympics in 1988), the first to include athletes who were blind, this small group noticed nearly every other participating country had an organization for the development of athletes with vision loss. This group went on to found the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). Lou was named the first vice president of the USABA and continues to serve and support the organization in many ways.

Lou Moneymaker’s devotion to students, athletes and employees have been critical to dispel the stereotypes surrounding people with disabilities. Lou has brought an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to creating opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.