May 17, 2024

Foundation Fighting Blindness to Host VISIONS 2024 Conference

Press Releases

The global conference, held on June 21–22, is dedicated to fostering connection, learning, and empowerment for individuals and families impacted by blinding diseases.

COLUMBIA, Maryland May 15, 2024 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the driving force in the global development of treatments and cures for blinding diseases, will host its VISIONS 2024 conference at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile on June 21–22, 2024. This biennial event offers a unique opportunity for over 500 attendees to connect with others from the blind and low vision community and learn about the latest research advancements, products, and services.

VISIONS 2024, designed specifically for individuals and their families affected by blinding diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, Stargardt disease, Leber congenital amaurosis, age-related macular degeneration, is a conference addressing the diverse needs of the 1 in 53 globally affected by these diseases.

Highlights of VISIONS 2024:

  • Opening Session: Technology: The Greatest Equalizer Join trailblazing tech leaders as they discuss the keys to greater digital accessibility, empowering individuals irrespective of visual ability. Gain insights into groundbreaking AI advancements, inclusive design, and the collaboration between tech giants and the blind community.
  • Concurrent Science Sessions – Explore cutting-edge research in optogenetics, stem cell therapies, genetic therapies, and emerging technologies. Led by renowned experts, these sessions offer valuable insights into vision restoration and treatment.
  • Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Sumaira “Sam” Latif – Sam is the senior director and company accessibility leader at Procter & Gamble and will share her inspiring personal journey of overcoming vision loss, and driving innovation for global accessibility.
  • Adapting & Thriving Sessions – Learn practical tips for navigating air travel, advocating across personal and legislative levels, applying for guide dogs, accessing low vision rehabilitation services, and addressing mental health.
  • Science Plenary Session: Inherited Retinal Disease Genetics – Explore the importance of genetic testing and updates on various retinal diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, Stargardt disease, Leber congenital amaurosis, age-related macular degeneration.
  • Fireside chat with Judge Tatel – Foundation board chair David Brint engages in a conversation with Judge David Tatel about vision loss, his career, and his latest book. Judge David Tatel served on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1994 to 2023. Prior to that, his three-decade career as a civil rights lawyer included private and government positions, and focused heavily on equal educational opportunity and access to justice.
  • Awards – The Foundation will present the Lulie’s Light Award, recognizing chapters' contributions to the Foundation's mission.

During VISIONS 2024, attendees will hear from David Brint, outgoing board chair, reflecting on his tenure, and Karen Petrou, incoming board chair, sharing her vision for the Foundation’s future. Their insights will provide a valuable perspective on the Foundation’s journey and future direction.

“We are thrilled to host VISIONS 2024 conference in Chicago this year,” says Jason Menzo, chief executive officer, Foundation Fighting Blindness. “We’re looking forward to sharing the tremendous progress being made by Foundation-funded scientists and researchers across the globe. This conference is truly a one-of-a-kind experience for individuals and families in the blind and low vision community to connect on our mission in one place.”

VISIONS 2024 is made possible by the generous support of partners and sponsors, whose commitment to the Foundation’s mission is invaluable. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to: Gold Partner & Keynote Speaker Underwriter, Johnson & Johnson; Silver Partners, Alkeus Pharmaceuticals and Ray Therapeutics; Bronze Partners, Amgen, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Atsena Therapeutics, Beacon Therapeutics, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Spark Therapeutics, and Two Blind Brothers; and In-Kind Partners, Cleanlogic and Feeldom.

Don't miss this opportunity to attend VISIONS 2024. To register, learn more about the sessions and speakers, or how to become a sponsor or exhibitor, visit www.FightingBlindness.org/VISIONS2024.

About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $915 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.

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Media Contact:
Chris Adams
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
cadams@fightingblindness.org
410-423-0585