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About Us
Our Mission and History

Our mission is to prevent blindness and preserve sight.

Our History

1908

Spurred to action after learning that 30 percent of blindness in children was easily preventable, volunteers banded together to organize the forerunner of today’s Prevent Blindness

1917

Babies' Sore Eyes

Successfully led legislation that virtually eliminated a leading cause of blindness in infants, called ophthalmia neonatorum.

1926

We created the first volunteer-run preschool vision screening program in the United States.

1942

Prevent Blindness conducted the nation’s first glaucoma detection program.

1944

We organized the first volunteer glaucoma screening program in the United States.

1956

We marshalled resources for the development of equipment to test the vision of infants.

1972

Prevent Blindness spearheaded legislation to require impact-resistant lenses in all eyewear.

1985

We released a national study revealing blindness prevention as the third most important eye health concern among Americans.

1995

Prevent Blindness and its affiliates introduced adult vision screening and photoscreening training programs.

1996

Prevent Blindness developed its first web presence at www.preventblindness.org to educate people about their eyes and vision health.

2002

We published the Vision Problems in the U.S. report on the prevalence and burden of age-related eye disease in America.

2003

Our advocacy efforts helped establish a vision research and prevention program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We worked with legislators to establish the Congressional Vision Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of Congressional Members.

2006

Eyes on Capitol Hill advocacy event

The first annual Eyes on Capitol Hill campaign brought more than 100 patients and vision advocates to Washington, D.C. to discuss eye health policies with legislators.

2009

With leadership and support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Prevent Blindness established the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. The Center supports the development of a public health infrastructure to promote and ensure a comprehensive, multi-tiered continuum of eye health and vision care for young children.

2014

Prevent Blindness published The Future of Vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems report, projecting the prevalence and costs of vision problems and forecast how their impacts may change in the coming years through 2050.

2018

Prevent Blindness established the Center for Vision and Population Health to convening stakeholders in vision, public health, and patient advocacy to address the barriers to healthy vision and work to increase the uniformity of vision preservation nationally. The center serves as a national coordinating body for effective practices, state-level technical assistance, and programmatic interventions.