What differentiates Spectoccular Foundation from other, existing nonprofit organizations that address blindness and vision impairment? Most nonprofits in this field focus on blindness and vision impairment from a “post facto” perspective. The individual already suffers from blindness and the nonprofit devotes its resources to addressing the blindness, via medication and pharmaceuticals, medical and surgical interventions, adaptive programs for living with blindness, and job training for blind and visually-impaired individuals.
Spectoccular positions itself and its mission much earlier in the eye health and vision cycle:
Focus on prevention
As described above, the vast majority of blindness and vision impairment is preventable. Yet, this fact is not widely known. Moreover, certain ethnic groups and others have genetic dispositions to certain vision diseases. There are geographic groupings that are more prone to vision problems. Finally, different demographic groups, from youth to the elderly, experience a variety of challenges to vision that are particular to their ages. Spectoccular Foundation builds awareness of the preventability of blindness and vision impairment, across all these sectors.
Focus on new technologies
Rather than a “post facto” focus on vision impairment, Spectoccular Foundation addresses vision proactively, including through the use of new technologies, currently becoming available, which provide easy, inexpensive, quick, non-invasive assessments of eye health and are able to detect vision irregularities at a very early stage, much sooner than current protocols. Moreover, the tools to do this look much like a regular pair of glasses and are light and simple to use. For example, diagnostic glasses could easily be used in a classroom to provide assessments of the entire class for almost no cost and would be especially effective in areas where healthcare is relatively inaccessible, such as urban cores and remote and rural regions, due to cost or lack of available expertise.
Focus on children
Within a focus on low-income individuals, in urban cores and remote and rural areas, there will be a particular focus on children. Low-income children already bear a heavy burden of negative effects from factors in their environments. The ability to prevent vision impairment and blindness, through comprehensive assessment of eye health and very early detection of any vision issues, offers a significant advantage. Not only will these individual children benefit, but the economy and society at large will be enhanced by their contributions to the economy and civic and social life.