Aging & Vision Loss Big Data Project Reports

The Big Data Project provides state-level data on the rate of blindness and low vision among people aged 65 years and older for many states with a goal to release reports for all US States. These briefings also elucidate the rate of chronic conditions, quality of life, and disability among older people with and without blindness & low vision. The data sets included in the project are the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the American Community Survey (ACS). VisionServe Alliance Big Data Project reports are the only studies providing comprehensive descriptions of older people with vision impairment at the state and county levels in one document.

Policymakers and advocates can use the Big Data Project briefings to develop programs to improve the lives and independence of older people with vision loss. Report data provides a powerful tool for agency and organizational leadership – and their development and marketing teams – to quantify the state and local need and strengthen their funding outreach via powerful statistics and current, needs-based data.

President and CEO of NewView Oklahoma, Lauren Branch, notes that one of the biggest challenges in providing services to the low vision community is a lack of funding that ties to a lack of data. “We’ve been talking about needing data for years,” Lauren said. “Those of us who have been serving in this field anecdotally know how large this population is, but we’ve never had this specific data to back up what we are saying.” 

Nancy D. Miller, Executive Director/CEO, VISIONS said “New York’s Big Data Report helps to frame issues and critical needs and was shared with the NYS Governor’s Office, the NYS Commission for the Blind, the NYS Chief Disability Officer, the New York State Department of Health, and the NYC Department for the Aging. New York uses the report to advocate for more state funding to serve the older blind population.”

Watch this Big Data Webinar to learn more about these crucial reports and see the Big Data Project national & state reports below that have been published to date!

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To download the reports you need to either be an existing VSA Member, Board Member, or Register to have access to download.

Click here to learn more about the methodology behind the Big Data reports.

Help us Continue this Crucial State Data Project!

Imagine…the cost to initiate the research that yields a 30+ page report for each state is only $10,000 per state. Many states have already funded this vital project, with reports completed for those states listed above: California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania & Texas. Reports will be published shortly for Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

To continue generating additional Big Data Project state reports, we must secure $10,000 for each remaining state. Underwriting methods vary by state, with some states splitting the cost among private agencies, some statewide associations funding the report, a major donor supporting one state, and a private agency funding costs in another state. In addition to state reports, AFB, APH, and AERBVI have combined forces to underwrite the costs of the National Big Data Report.

If you represent a state that is not yet funded and published above, and know a donor, foundation, or agency with the potential to underwrite this vital state data project, please contact Lee Nasehi at or Libby Murphy at