Reframing Aging & Vision Loss – A Three-Year Plan to Focus National Collaboration VSAELC2020

Older people with vision loss make up by far the largest cohort of people who are blind or visually impaired in this country, yet services for this ever-growing population receive the least funding and least attention.

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. 

View the AVLNC Document Archive

With the handing off of the 21st Century Agenda by AFB in late 2018, VisionServe Alliance has assumed the role of coordinating the Aging and Vision Loss Coalition to continue the work in the aging and vision loss area. However, we need to rethink what is possible to accomplish and to come up with new ways to address the issues that still remain twenty-five years later, exacerbated by major increases in the numbers of older persons with vision loss with no increase in the amount of funding by congress since the state-administered Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) programs were established.

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 begun its work by focusing 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 sub committee to oversee its progress and development.

Below are the chairs of those sub-committees:

Awareness: Nancy Miller, VISIONS & Sylvia Perez, Mississippi State University OIB-TAC

Funding: Pris Rogers, Independent Advocate

Expanding Personnel: Elly du Pre, Florida Agencies Serving the Blind