World Sight Day 2022
Thursday 13th October marks World Sight Day 2022, an annual day of awareness for visual impairment. The aim of this year’s World Sight Day is to:
– Focus the world’s attention on eye health as a global issue
– Raise awareness of eye health amongst individuals, families, and communities
– Create a platform to influence decision makers to prioritise eye health initiatives
– Help activate demand for eye health services globally
World Sight Day is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and is supported by almost 200 IAPB Member organisations globally. The theme of this year’s World Sight Day is #LoveYourEyes, an initiative highlighting the significance of treating your eyes with the care they deserve.
Top Tips to #LoveYourEyes
– Attending regular eye tests
– Eating a healthy, balanced diet with lots of greens and leafy veg!
– Protecting your eyes in the sun
– Using the 20/20/20 screen time rule (When using a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, to avoid eye strain and headaches)
Raising awareness of visual impairments is a key aim this World Sight Day, therefore we’re here to bust some common myths and misconceptions!
Myth: All visually impaired people use a cane.
Truth: Some people use mobility aids, such as canes and guide dogs, to help them get around. However, not everyone with sight loss chooses to use a cane or mobility aid, which means it is not always obvious that someone has a visual impairment.
Myth: Visually impaired people only see total darkness.
Truth: The exact figure of people with no light perception is unknown but it is thought to be less than 10% of those with a visual impairment. This means that most people with a visual impairment can see things. From lights, shapes, and objects to blurred vision, dark spots, or impaired peripheral vision – sight varies depending on the condition and severity.
Myth: Everyone with a visual impairment uses Braille.
Truth: Approximately 6% of people with visual impairments read Braille. People who have visual impairments may use other formats such as audio-recorded materials, large print books or magnifiers to read. Find out more about learning Braille, accessing Calibre audiobooks and CustomEyes large print children’s books.
Myth: People with a visual impairment have superpower hearing.
Truth: Visually impaired people do not naturally have improved hearing. However, what does take place is the reliance on other senses that differ from people with intact sight. Learning to do familiar tasks with alternative senses is a learned task that takes repetition, hard work, and sharp memory. Superpowers would be much faster and easier, but because visually impaired people are not supernatural beings, this is not an option!
Myth: Visually impaired parents can’t read stories to their children.
Truth: The RNIB have recently worked with the BBC to dispel this myth. Paralympian, Lora Fachie is now the first celebrity to read a story in braille with audio described illustrations on the CBeebies show Bedtime Stories.
REMEMBER: The best way to bust the myths is by interacting with visually impaired people, accessing resources from relevant charities and organisations, and reading text from reliable sources.
You can find out more about World Sight Day and make a pledge to #LoveYourEyes here!