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What are you doing for World Sight Day?

World Sight Day LogoThursday, October 13, 2011 is World Sight Day, an annual day devoted to raising awareness about blindness and vision loss. All over the globe, rehab organizations, advocacy institutions, medical professionals and empowered individuals observe World Sight Day in a variety of creative and educational ways. This year we are calling on everyone to help join us in the fight against blindness through planned events and activities. We encourage you to incorporate Going Blind into your World Sight Day plans.

Last fall, Going Blind concluded its theatrical run at New York City’s Quad Cinema on October 14, 2010, World Sight Day. We chose to focus those screenings during a time of heightened awareness around the world as a way to bring attention not simply to the documentary, but to the issues it so seriously addresses. As has become readily apparent to all connected to our outreach campaign, the film has gained momentum and traction in many communities.

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary showed Going Blind on World Sight Day 2010, while the American Academy of Ophthalmology featured it at their annual conference in Chicago later on that month. These two screenings benefited greatly from the attention World Sight Day received. During the theatrical run, evening screenings were enhanced by compelling panel discussions that followed film.

Now, a year after we began our main outreach push, Going Blind remains relevant. After nearly one hundred screenings worldwide, the movement that began locally has continued to expand globally. World Sight Day is the perfect time to synthesize the issues Going Blind raises into a cogent lesson plan aimed at informing and educating the public. Plan screenings at community halls, theatres, libraries and other public venues. Changing the standard of care will not and cannot happen overnight. But if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that even when something begins small, if it strikes the right chord with the right people, there’s no telling where it can go and what it can lead to. Presently, the University of Central Florida is working on a screening of Going Blind for World Sight Day.

We encourage you to incorporate Going Blind into your activities. Heed the film’s call to action. Please share your plans with us.

What are you doing for World Sight Day 2011?