Summary: A Symposium was held on 4 April 2007 in London to launch the development of the UK Vision Strategy.
Abstracts of the speeches from the keynote speakers are below, with the full text also available.
- Rosie Winterton, Minister of State for Health Services
- Stephen Remington, Chair of VISION 2020 UK
- Lesley-Anne Alexander, Chief Executive of RNIB
- Richard Porter, Director of Operations, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
- Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of The Charity Commission
Title: Ministerial message of support delivered by Stephen Remington on behalf of the Rt Hon Rosie Winterton MP
The Department of Health is committed to supporting the NHS and social care services working in partnership with the third sector in improving visual health, preventing avoidable blindness and improving services for blind or partially sighted people.
This forms part of our wider commitment to improving the health and well-being of the population through a health and social care system that is truly person centred and supports independent living.
Title: Introduction to the UK Vision Strategy Symposium
In the UK, VISION 2020 UK provides the only setting in which national organisations from every part of the UK vision sector can get together as equals, discuss our shared challenges, craft solutions, speak with one voice, exchange information and gradually push the agenda forward.
Title: UK Vision Strategy: Our challenge, our ambition - moving forward together
Each day, 100 people in the UK will start to lose their sight. We will be working together on the initial stages of building a UK Vision Strategy. A strategy behind which we can all unite, which informs our thinking and directs our actions.
A strong UK Vision Strategy will create a widespread and lasting change.
Title: The importance of taking a cross sector approach
In the mid-nineties, the World Health Organisation (WHO) produced updated statistics on the number of people who were blind which showed that despite the efforts of WHO, national governments and the many NGOs working in the field of blindness prevention, the numbers of blind people had increased substantially since the last survey.
What was even more alarming were the projections over the next twenty years. It was anticipated that if blindness prevention activities were only to increase at the levels of recent years, there would be a doubling in the number of blind people by the year 2020. A key driving force in this was growing and ageing populations around the world.
Title: Collaboration across the voluntary sector
The existing evidence of what collaborative working in the sector can achieve and the opportunities on offer are significant. The Disability Charities Consortium, amongst many other groups, has shown what collaboration can do with the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.
This is political activity and campaigning at its best - charities putting the interests of beneficiaries right at the top of the agenda and working together tirelessly until those interests are represented as fully as they can possibly be.
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