(Image Credit: AdobeStock/Марина Демешко)

Prevent Blindness is joining the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), as well as other eye organizations across the world for World Sight Day on October 12. The day is dedicated to helping people understand the importance of protecting their vision in the workplace and calling on business leaders to prioritise the eye health of workers, everywhere and is set to the theme of “Love Your Eyes At Work.”1

According to a report from the International Labour Organization and IAPB, more than 13 million people globally live with vision impairment linked to their work, with 3.5 million eye injuries occurring in the workplace every year.2

In the US, 79% of civilian employees with access to vision care plans choose to participate in them, while such plans were available to only 28% of civilian workers in March 2022. Workers with higher average wages also had greater access to vision care plans than those with lower wages. While employees of larger businesses had greater access than those who worked at smaller businesses.1

“This World Sight Day, we call upon employers to examine the benefits they offer their employees, insurers to consider expanding their vision and eye health offerings, and federal and state policy makers to prioritize our nation’s eye health and safety in their healthcare policy actions,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “All those working to support themselves and their families, while contributing to America’s economy, deserve access to eye care that can help them enjoy productive and engaging lives and reap the full benefits of their professional work.”

Prevent Blindness will be hosting a World Sight Day reception on September 21 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC. Peter Holland, CEO of IAPB, will speak on the purpose of World Sight Day, and share highlights from the “Eye Health and the World of Work” report. While Vivian Fridas, the National Industries for the Blind public policy specialist and manager of the Advocates for Leadership and Employment Program, will share her personal journey as an individual with progressive sight loss as a child of immigrants, and the impact that workplace accommodations had on her ability to remain at work and to help others in a similar position.

  1. Prevent Blindness Joins 2023 World Sight Day Global Initiative to “Love Your Eyes at Work,” Calling on Employers, Insurers, and Policy Makers to Consider How They Can Contribute to Improved Access to Vision and Eye Health Care. Press Release. Released September 18, 2023. Accessed September 18, 2023. https://preventblindness.org/2023-world-sight-day/
  2. Eye health and the world of work. September 5, 2023. Accessed September 18, 2023. https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/safety-and-health-at-work/resources-library/publications/WCMS_892937/lang–en/index.htm