Why it Matters
Right now, 36 million people worldwide — most of them in developing countries — are blind.
80 percent of them didn’t have to lose their sight. Helen Keller International is dedicated to combating the causes and consequences of vision loss and making clear vision a reality for those most vulnerable to disease and who lack access to quality eye care.
Last year alone, we helped provide many tens of millions of people with treatment to prevent diseases of poverty including blinding trachoma and river blindness. Surgeons trained by our staff also performed tens of thousands of cataract surgeries in the developing world. And in the United States, we screened the vision of nearly 66,000 students living in some of our country’s poorest neighborhoods and provided free eyeglasses to just over 16,000 of them.
US Vision Care
Since 1994, Helen Keller International has provided free vision screenings for more than 1.7 million children in the United States and provided more than 243,000 of them with prescription eyeglasses to solve common vision problems.
Preventing Blindness and Diabetes
We train doctors in prevention and treatment of diabetic retinopathy and help educate communities most at risk for diabetes-related vision loss in Bangladesh and Indonesia, countries which have seen an explosive increase in diabetes.
We are improving access to high-quality, affordable cataract surgeries for poor and remote communities in under-served regions of Asia. Each year we train hundreds of doctors, provide them with state-of-the-art equipment, and organize outreach services to reach those without access to eye care.
Programs for Children with Special Needs
In the spirit of our founder, Helen Keller, we are improving access to quality education for children living with blindness and other disabilities in Africa and Asia.