Decade of Vision Logo

NEI 40th Anniversary Logo

From April 2009 to June 2010, the National Eye Institute (NEI) celebrated its 40th anniversary as the National Institute of Health's (NIH) lead Institute that manages and funds the nation's commitment to save and restore vision. The NEI's leadership is important, since in the decade 2010-2020:

  • The first wave of 78 million Baby Boomers will turn 65 in 2010, and each day for 18 years afterwards, about 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day.

  • The fast-growing Hispanic and African American populations experience a disproportionate incidence of eye disease (e.g., African Americans have a three-time higher rate of glaucoma incidence than white Americans).

  • The NEI's Eye Disease Prevalence Research Group in its 2004 study noted that 50 million Americans will be blind, have low vision, or an age-related eye disease by 2020 unless appropriate treatments and therapies are employed.

In 2009, Congress passed resolutions recognizing the NEI's 40th anniversary and designating 2010-2020 as The Decade of Vision (DOV).

On July 7, 2009, the Senate passed S. Res 209, which was introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson and Senator Ben Cardin. To read the text of the resolution, click here. On June 16, 2009, by a vote of 411-0, the House passed H. Res. 366, which was introduced by Cong. Tammy Baldwin and Cong. Pete Sessions. To read the Dear Colleague letter that introduced and explains the resolution, click here. To read the text of the resolution, click here.

The DOV is a sustained effort to recognize the power of federally funded vision research to benefit patients by increasing productivity, maintaining independence, and improving quality of life.

Various activities that were associated with the NEI 40th anniversary/Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative are listed below.


September 14, 2016
Emerging Vision Scientists Educate and Advocate on Capitol Hill About Their Research to Reduce the Burden of Eye Disease

September 14, 2016
International Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Week Congressional Briefing: Sustained NIH Funding Has Resulted in Successful AMD Diagnostics and Therapies

June 8, 2016
AEVR Congressional Briefing Addresses Research into Dry Eye

March 9, 2016
AEVR Congressional Briefing Addresses Public Health Challenges in Glaucoma

October 9, 2015
Emerging Vision Scientists Educate, Advocate on Capitol Hill About Their Research to Reduce the Burden of Eye Disease

September 18, 2015
International Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Week Congressional Briefing: NEI Researchers Discuss Therapies for this Leading Cause of Blindness

June 3, 2015
AEVR Holds First-Ever Congressional Briefing on Uveitis

March 11, 2015
World Glaucoma Week 2015 Controlling IOP in At-Risk Populations

September 18, 2014
AEVR Releases Attitudinal Survey, Vision and Blindness Fact Sheet

March 6, 2014
DOD-Funded Researcher Develops Novel Patch for Ocular Trauma

February 26, 2014
AEVR’s World Glaucoma Week 2014 Briefing Focuses on Genetic
Basis of Glaucoma

February 25, 2014
AEVR Celebrates its Message about the Value of Vision Research on Capitol Hill

September 19, 2013
AEVR International AMD Awareness Week Congressional Briefing: Young Researcher Uses Big Data to Determine Genetic Basis of AMD

March 19, 2013
DOD-Funded Researcher Studies the Impact of Primary Blast Injuries on the Eye

March 7, 2013
AEVR's World Glaucoma Week 2013 Briefing Features Real-Time OCT Imaging

September 20, 2012
AEVR International AMD Awareness Week Congressional Briefing: Research Suggests AMD as Multiple Biological Diseases

March 22, 2012
Vision Enhancement System Addresses Defense Vision Research Gaps

March 7, 2012
AEVR Releases Updated Silver Book®:Vision Loss at 2012 World Glaucoma Week Congressional Briefing

September 21, 2011
NEI Clinician Scientist Discusses Lifestyle and AMD

September 12-15, 2011
Capitol Hill Education Focuses on Diabetic Retinopathy

June 9, 2011
Congressional Briefing Highlights NIH's Drug Discovery Technology

March 9, 2011
AEVR's World Glaucoma Week Briefing Features Real-Time OCT Imaging

February 22, 2011
DOD Funded Researchers Address Diagnosis of Visual Disorders from TBI

September 23, 2010
"Exciting Time in AMD Research" Says International Clinician Scientist at Briefing Described by Congressional Staff as "Best of the rYear"

June 25, 2010
NEI Concludes the 40th Anniversary Celebration with a Symposium on Translational Research and Vision at which Dr. Collins Recognizes Its Leadership on This Priority NIH Issue

April 29, 2010
Artificial Retina Holds Promise for Restoring Vision to Millions

March 11, 2010
Vision Community Unites to Observe World Glaucoma Week on Capitol Hill

February 18, 2010
Vision Research Meeting Battlefield Needs: Corneal Wound Sealing/Healing and Protection

September 22, 2009
Researcher Educates Capitol Hill About the Robo4 Protein Pathway During AMD Awareness Week 2009

June 17, 2009
NEI 40th Anniversary Congressional Reception

April 3, 2009
A Tongue for an Eye: Event Features BrainPort Device and Blind Adventure Athlete

January 28, 2009
NAEVR/AEVR Initiate NEI 40th Anniversary Events in 2009 with Capitol Hill Reception

Press Releases

October 9, 2013
AEVR Announces 20th Anniversary Brochure Entitled The Value of Federally Funded Vision Research

February 12, 2013
AEVR Announces March 2013 Congressional Luncheon Briefings On Two Important Topics in Vision Research

September 18, 2012
AEVR's Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiantive Releases A Value of Defense-Related Vision Research Brochure

March 7, 2012
AEVR and Alliance for Aging Research Release The Silver Book®: Vision Loss Volume II

December 2009
NEI Posts Top Five Stories of 2009

October 13, 2009
Book Recounts Establishment and First Three Decades of the National Eye Institute

July 7, 2009
Senate Passes S. Res. 209 Recognizing the NEI's 40th Anniversary and Designating 2011-2020 as the Decade of Vision

June 16, 2009
House Passes H. Res. 366 Recognizing the NEI's 40th Anniversary and Designating 2010-2020 as the Decade of Vision


H. Res. 366

House Floor Debate on H. Res. 366

S. Res. 209

Senate Floor Debate on S. Res. 209

Resolutions and Congratulatory Letters

Anniversaries: A Time to Reflect, Courtesy of EyeNet Magazine, the member newsmagazine of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, June 2009

AMD Alliance International Letter, May 2009

American Academy of Optometry Letter, June 2009

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Letter, June 2009

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) Letter, May 2009

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Letter, June 2009

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Letter, June 2009

Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) Letter, May 2009

Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology (AUPO) Resolution, January 2009

Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) Letter, May 2009

Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) Letter, June 2009

Fight For Sight Letter, June 2009

The Glaucoma Foundation (TGF) Letter, May 2009

International Eye Foundation Letter, May 2009

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Letter, June 2009

Lions Club International Letter, June 2009

Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group (OMIG) Letter, June 2009

Optometric Glaucoma Society (OGS) Letter, May 2009

Research to Prevent Blindness Letter, June 2009

About NEI Research

"How to Keep Your Sight", from NIH Medline Plus Magazine Summer 2008

March 1993 Ophthalmology Article about the founding of the NEI, upon its 25th anniversary

Important Events in the NEI's History

NEI Leads in Eye and Vision Research; Collaborative Research with other NIH Institutes and Federal Entities and the Private Sector (March 2009)

NEI Research Highlighted in Summer 2008 NIH Medline Plus Magazine

NEI Website