Case for Support

When George walks down the street, people get out of the way.

Like parting the Red Sea, he carves a path down the sidewalk. There is no small talk. No eyes meeting. No one stops to ask George how he’s doing, or for directions, or to chat about the weather.

In fact, no one talks to George at all. People see George, and they know that he doesn’t see them. His long white cane gives him away.

There is something humans fear more than death. It is a lonely and uncertain life, relying on others just to get by. It is missing cherished moments, deprived of the faces of our loved ones. It is blindness. The loss of vision – sudden or gradual. Blurred shapes and blind spots – with no detail or clarity. And for more than 800,000 Canadians like George, and millions more people worldwide, this is reality.

Low vision takes away even more than our most valued sense.

It steals little things – paintbrush strokes, television screens, and the pages of a book – and very big ones. It takes careers, passions, and dreams.

Imagine the loss of never looking through your family photo albums again. Or never making your grandmother’s beloved recipes because you simply can’t read them. Imagine the struggle of trying to use cash or a credit card at the corner store, or the frustration of getting dressed when you can’t see your clothes.

Blindness takes away a person’s independence.

But it doesn’t have to.

Imagine, after years of seeing the world in a dim blur, receiving clear, mobile vision. It is life-changing. It is real. And it’s a gift you have the power to give.

Assistive devices – from closed captioning, to wearable technology, to retinal implants – allow the legally blind to navigate the world with freedom and dignity. Basic devices, like George’s white cane, are covered by government funding. And there are more advanced technologies that can allow a person to actually see again.

But many of these devices cost thousands of dollars. For most typically-sighted people, they’re way out of reach. But only one third of legally blind adults are employed, and more than half are struggling to make ends meet with less than $20,000 a year. It becomes almost impossible for people like George to access technology that could transform their lives. But you can give the gift of sight, right now.

That is where the Lewis Vision Improvement Foundations comes in.

What we believe is simple – that every single person should be able to see.

We don’t believe that money should keep a person from experiencing the world through our most precious and important sense. And we do not accept it.

The Lewis Vision Improvement Foundation (LVIF) breaks down the financial barrier to vision by providing support to qualified low vision and legally blind individuals. We do this by giving monetary grants, which are used to purchase assistive technologies that would otherwise be out of reach.

By removing the obstacle of funding, LVIF enables legally blind people to access the advanced assistive technologies and devices that will best address their own visual disabilities today.

Lewis Vision Improvement Foundation empowers people to take back their sight.

We know the importance of this work. It’s something we believe in deeply.

LVIF founder Conrad Lewis saw first-hand how limited life is without your sight. Two of his sisters were diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease in their early 20s, and gradually lost their vision. Already a successful businessman and brilliant engineer, he was determined to fix their problem.

This led Conrad to develop ground-breaking eSight eyewear. Like a futuristic pair of glasses, eSight’s tiny camera projects what a person looks at onto two screens directly in front of the eye. The user can adjust contrast, invert colours, and zoom in on details. eSight’s innovative technology allows complete customization, enhancing a person’s vision in just the right way. This lets eSight send a better signal to the brain than a natural environment can.

This enhanced signal has an extraordinary result. Legally blind people, many of whom have been told their vision cannot be fixed, can see. They can read the morning newspaper. They take a photograph on a special occasion, and see the face of a smiling loved one. And because eSight is mobile, they can walk down the street, just like George does, and be fully engaged with the world around them. No more cane. No more people getting out of the way.

Real, immediate solutions to low vision, and they’re available right now.

For Nicholas, a teenaged cello prodigy, this is truly-life changing. His dream of joining a professional orchestra had been crushed because he couldn’t sight-read the sheet music. With eSight, Nicholas can overcome that hurdle. His future has never looked brighter.

Nicholas received the gift of vision. But George, and many like him, have not.

You can help turn on the light.

We know that every year, another 50,000 Canadians will lose their sight. They will become less productive, and will need ongoing support from our healthcare system. They’ll be held back from living their best life.

Now is the time to shift the focus. We have the power to restore a person’s vision, often without surgery or medication, thanks to advanced assistive devices like eSight. Cost places those technologies out of reach for too many people. We need donors like you to help us change that.

You can transform a life. Not in 5 or 10 or 20 years, but right now. Your gift will make it possible for the legally blind to access these revolutionary assistive devices. With your support, people like George can fully, clearly, vividly experience the world that has been waiting right in front of their eyes.

See the impact of your gift for yourself. Watch a person see for the very first time.