2020: A Year in Review
At the end of 2019, I was invited to contribute to an article for INVISION Magazine on the topic of 2020 vision trends. In the article, I offered the thought that “vision health will become part of the wider public health conversation.” Who would have known that just after I made that seemingly innocuous prediction, our world would be turned upside down as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?
Like so many organizations, the Vision Impact Institute was challenged this year. We were required to ask ourselves how we continue advocating for good vision at a time when the single most important health crisis affecting the world demands priority over all else, including vision.
As we wrap up 2020, we are happy to share some of the unique and different approaches we took this year to continue using evidence-based research as a foundation for sharing the message of good vision, advocating on behalf of others, and empowering others to take the story further.
Looking back on the year, and despite all that we’ve faced, I still believe that earlier prediction to be true. With renewed optimism, and building upon what we learned this year, we will ensure that vision health continues to be a priority for the success of generations to come.
Click any of these links to read more in-depth:
- Building on Evidence
- Empowering a World of Advocates
- Amplifying New Voices for Vision
- Prioritizing Children’s Vision
BUILDING ON EVIDENCE
Our curated global vision research remains essential to our mission, and it’s key to helping you and so many others in our field make the case for good vision.
In 2020, we added to our foundation of evidence-based research, systematic reviews, and study summaries from which we build awareness, advocate for action, and engage with other vision leaders and experts.
In total, we added 151 new research studies and reports to our growing evidence database of 600+ research studies from all over the world.
See what’s new. Catch up on the most popular research in our database:
EMPOWERING A WORLD OF ADVOCATES
With travel at a standstill, like so many, we convened mainly through screens and audio. This created unique opportunities to connect with eye care professionals around the world – inspiring individuals who serve as local advocates for good vision in their respective places of influence.
- In partnership with the WHO, PAHO, and IAPB, we held a series of webinars highlighting the WHO’s World Report on Vision and Essilor’s Eliminating Poor Vision Report. We’re grateful for the participation of The African Council of Optometry, the Eastern Mediterranean Council of Optometry, the Indian Optometric Association, ALDOO and 400+ eye care professionals around the world who gathered to learn practical ways to put this evidence into action.
- In collaboration with the India Vision Institute, we gathered online with eye care professionals, media, and vision advocates to highlight the role that good vision plays in road safety in India and how eye care professionals can encourage safer mobility across the country.
- And, thanks to partners at ATscale, WHO, and EYElliance, we hosted our first global podcast on the inclusion of eyeglasses in the assistive technology agenda and disabilities movement.
Listen anytime on our YouTube channel or play below in the embedded player.
AMPLIFYING NEW VOICES FOR VISION: PARTNERS & EXPERTS
In 2020, we had the opportunity to shape the conversation around good vision through the voices of experts both inside and outside the vision space. Challenged with bringing greater visibility to important topics, guest bloggers and partners from organizations like EYElliance, The Cooper Institute, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Essilor and many others helped us highlight the macro-level impacts of poor vision.
Learn from their perspectives:
- Including vision in the disability agenda through assistive technologies
- Connecting fitness and vision for whole-child health
- The opportunity cost of good vision from an economic standpoint
- How to allocate resources for vision in a crowded public health space
- Tackling the barriers that affect women when it comes to vision
- Protecting the vision of healthcare workers
PRIORITIZING CHILDREN’S VISION
Digital learning was top of mind in 2020 as students and educators transitioned from schools to home. As vision advocates, we had a responsibility to reach and inform parents and teachers about this new learning environment. Realizing our ability to reach and engage our global community of professionals around the benefits of good vision in a digital world, and in collaboration with The Cooper Institute, we amplified vision’s connection to children’s learning and health.
Take a look:
- A whole-child approach is key to ensuring that children are life-ready
- Today’s new normal can shape a child’s tomorrow
- School disruptions must not disrupt children’s vision care
- What online back-to-school means for your child’s vision
- Our example will set the stage for our children’s future
“We applaud the efforts by our individual and coalition partners to prioritize better life through better sight. As advocates for good vision, we must continue to seek opportunities to ensure that vision care is no longer treated as optional. Let us continue to embrace every effort to “do something” for the millions around the world who are counting on us to help pave their way.”
Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director