Press Release
July 1, 2013
CONTACT: James F. Jorkasky
Executive Director

The Vision Community Announces Four Congressional Events on Major Topics in Eye Disease Research and Prevention During Fall 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013, Congressional Briefing
Ensuring Quality Education and Services for Students with Vision Loss
12 Noon - 1:15 pm, House Rayburn B-369

Hosted by Lighthouse International, the briefing focuses on the educational system for children who are blind or visually impaired by identifying service gaps and offering recommendations on ways to improve the quality of services, per the Ann Sullivan Macy Act. Featured speakers:

  • Bernadette Kappen, Ph.D. (New York Institute for Special Education)
  • Mark Eichert, Rsq. (American Foundation for the Blind)
  • Yokasta Urena, Teacher and Parent, The Ethel and Samuel J. LeFrak School
  • Mark Ackermann, President and CEO, Lighthouse International, host)

Thursday, September 19, 2013, Congressional Briefing
Determining the Genetic Basis of AMD by Using “Big Data”
12 Noon - 1:15 pm, House Rayburn B-369

Hosted by the Alliance for Eye and Vision research (AEVR), the briefing recognizes International Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Week 2013 by focusing on how the National Eye Institute’s (NEI) International AMD Gene Consortium is using “Big Data” derived from Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) to elucidate the genetic basis of AMD, paving the way for therapies. Featured speakers:

  • Goncalo Abecasis, D. Phil. (University of Michigan)
  • James Jorkasky, Executive Director (Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, host)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Congressional Reception
AEVR 20th Anniversary Celebration: Value of Federally Funded Vision Research
5:30 – 7:30 pm, Rayburn Foyer

Comments by:

  • Paul Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Eye Institute
  • Peter McDonnell, M.D. (Wilmer Eye Institute/Johns Hopkins), AEVR President, host

Thursday, October 10, 2013, Congressional Briefing
World Sight Day 2013: The Economic and Societal Impact of Diabetic Retinopathy
12 Noon – 1:15 pm, House Rayburn 2168 (The Gold Room)

Hosted by Vision 2020 USA, a program of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), this year’s World Sight Day briefing focuses on the impact of Diabetic Retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in the “working age” population. Speakers will address current research, ethnic disparities, access to care, and prevention. Featured speakers:

  • Susan Bressler, M.D. (Wilmer Eye Institute/Johns Hopkins)
  • Ann Williams, Ph.D., R.N, C.D.E. (Case Western Reserve University)

RSVP to Dina Beaumont at or 202-530-4672

The Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, is proud to announce these educational programs associated with its Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative, a sustained educational effort acknowledged by Congress that recognizes the benefits of federally funded vision research. Visit its Web site at