World Sight Day
World Sight Day is a holiday that’s designed to raise public awareness about vision impairment and blindness. It’s a day that’s observed on the second Thursday every year and it’s been celebrated since 2000. Every year that it’s celebrated, it’s celebrated with a special theme.
However, in the first five years it was observed there wasn’t a corresponding theme, nor was there a theme in 2011 or 2012. The first year it was observed with a theme was in 2005 when the theme was “The Right To Sight.” Recent themes for this holiday include “Vision First” in 2019 and “Hope In Sight” in 2020.
The History Of World Sight Day
World Sight Day was originally observed by the Lion’s Club on October 12, 2000, as a part of their Sight First Campaign. Not long after, the holiday was observed and promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention Of Blindness (IAPB). It’s a holiday that’s now observed all over the world.
Facts About Blindness
Even though some people believe they know quite a lot about blindness, the fact of the matter is that most people don’t know as nearly as much as they should about a condition that affects so many people all over the globe. So to correct that issue, we’ve decided to list some of the facts about blindness that we’ve come across while researching World Sight Day.
- Only about 15% of people who are blind see nothing at all.
- Anne Sullivan was the companion and teacher for Helen Keller. She was nearly blinded by an infection at the age of 8 but later regained some vision after medical intervention.
- It’s been estimated that up to 80% of vision problems worldwide could be cured or avoided with prompt medical care and regular eye examinations.
- Approximately 70% of blind people in the U.S experienced a medical condition known as Non 24 Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder.
- Non 24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder is when a person’s natural sleep cycle is out of alignment.
- The leading cause of blindness is age-related cataracts. This accounts for 51% of all blindness cases.
Observing World Sight Day
On this day, many different groups will work together with the IAPB and the WHO to promote the day. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about visual impairment and blindness and to lobby health ministers to designate funds for national blindness prevention programs.
Some people take part in fundraising activities for programs that advocate for the blind, distribute literature raising awareness about preventable blindness, and taking part in seminars that deal with issues that blind people have to face all over the world. People also use the hashtag #WorldBlindnessDay to spread the word about this holiday.