WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prevent Blindness, a nonprofit eye health and safety organization, announced that it will host the ASPECT Patient Engagement and Advocacy Summit, May 14-16, 2024, at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Summit will bring together ASPECT (Advocacy, Support, Perspective, Empowerment, Communication, and Training) Patient Engagement Program graduates and program sponsors. As part of the event, Prevent Blindness will also hold its 19th Annual Eyes on Capitol Hill legislative day, providing participants with the opportunity to meet elected officials and their staff to discuss public policy and federal funding requests, the announcement stated.

Founded in 2020, the ASPECT Patient Engagement Program at Prevent Blindness aims to equip participants with knowledge, skills, and confidence to become advocates for vision and eye health at the individual, peer-to-peer, community, state, and/or national levels, according to the group. The ASPECT Patient Engagement and Advocacy Summit will include a variety of educational sessions and group exercises on topics such as:

● Use of storytelling as a therapeutic tool.

● Identity and self-stigma.

● How to use personal stories to address the mental health impacts of vision loss.

● How to address gaps in health care delivery and patient provider communication for those with vision loss.

● The role of health and wellness in independence for the visually impaired and blind community.

● How to advocate for inclusive research for individuals with visual impairment and blindness.

Additionally, Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates will specifically ask elected officials to join the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Vision Caucus (CVC), dedicated to strengthening and stimulating a national dialogue and policy on vision-related problems and disabilities, the group stated. The mission of the CVC is to raise awareness about the increasing number of Americans at risk for age-related eye diseases and those who face vision loss due to chronic disease.

“Building on the success of our first ASPECT Patient Engagement and Advocacy Summit in 2022, we are thrilled to expand the program this year to offer new opportunities for advocates to learn more about how they can use their unique voice for vision,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We thank all of our program sponsors and individual donors who make these important events possible.”