Canadian Council of the Blind

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World Sight Day Conference 2023

The State of Vision Health in Canada
A Canadian Council of the Blind Conference

The Canadian Council of the Blind Conference took place virtually on Tuesday, October 17 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm (EST) Eastern Standard Time.

In October 2022, the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) and Fighting Blindness Canada published a report on the state of vision health in Canada in 2021, evaluating primarily the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had had on vision health. The report card found that vision care in Canada had not returned to pre-pandemic levels due to significant staff shortages, surgical backlogs, and people not keeping their doctor appointments or having their regular eye examinations. In addition, funding for vision research had not changed from pre-pandemic levels and was still woefully inadequate.

This conference proposes to update the audience as to the current state of vision health in Canada and what we can expect to see as we enter the post-pandemic era.

We are privileged to have representatives from the major stakeholders in vision presenting their view of the future. Topics to be covered include:

  • An overview of the CCB report card on the state of vision health in Canada.
  • Challenges and concerns related to eye health, from birth to end-of-life. Participants will be walked through the “lifecycle of the eyes,” highlighting what to look out for, what treatment modalities are available, and how treatments are delivered as well as innovations that are in the pipeline which may allow more people to maintain their sight.
  • The pivotal role of comprehensive eye examinations in Canada’s vision health landscape.
  • A report on a joint collaborative survey conducted by the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and the Canadian Association of Optometrists on access to vision health.
  • The current state of vision research in Canada and the fundamental role played by research in advancing discoveries, delivering new treatments, and improving access to vision health care for Canadians with vision loss.
  • How an integrated model of service delivery for vision rehabilitation achieves client-centered care that empowers Canadians impacted by vision loss to live the life they choose.

We are also privileged to have the Honourable Judy Sgro, PC, MP, with us to present an update on the progress of Bill C-284 – An Act to establish a national strategy for eye care, which was first tabled in the House of Commons in June 2022.

SPEAKERS: The Honourable Judy Sgro, PC, MP, Humber River–Black Creek, Ontario; Dr. Keith Gordon, Senior Research Officer, Canadian Council of the Blind; Dr. Phil Hooper, President, Canadian Ophthalmological Society; Dr. Martin Spiro, President, Canadian Association of Optometrists; Jennifer Jones, President and CEO, Fighting Blindness Canada; Dr. Larissa Moniz, Director of Research and Mission Programs, Fighting Blindness Canada; Jennifer Urosevic, President and CEO, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada


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