ZEISS sponsors SIGHT - The Story of Vision

Las Vegas, September 18, 2015

SIGHT The Story of Vision is an international documentary about the importance of good vision, about the progress in eye care and vision solutions over the past 800 years, the impact of the global vision crisis on life and work; and importantly, about the efforts taken by individuals and organizations to fight this crisis.

This documentary was previewed at a ZEISS sponsored event at Vision Expo West in Las Vegas and received enthusiastic reviews from the 300 Vision Industry and media representatives who attended the event.

The SIGHT project is an international initiative, involving award winning directors and filmmakers, an advisory board of medical, business and science advisors, and collaboratively sponsored by several major corporations and organizations from the vision care industry. Initiator and filmmaker Kris Koenig and Public Broadcasting Systems acknowledge that this industry-wide initiative has brought companies together with a common objective to educate and raise awareness of the significant challenges in providing good quality eye care and vision solutions to the millions of people affected by poor vision.

ZEISS is one of the primary sponsors of the SIGHT story and the corresponding SEEING planetarium show.

One of the most precious gifts we are given: vision

Natural vision is one of lifes most precious gifts. About 80 per cent of all information we process comes through our eyes. For the hundreds of millions of people around the world who have limited or no access to eye care and are visually impaired, for the millions who have no opportunity to get treatment for preventable blindness, and for those that simply cant access simple vision solutions, the ability to fully participate in life is limited.

The SIGHT story, a public television documentary, recounts the centuries-old history and science of vision with all its implications for humanity and society. Our ability to see determines our quality of life, yet many of us take our sight for granted. A great portion of the worlds population struggles to see, and none of us will be able to escape vision loss in our lifetime, says Kris Koenig.

Lack of access to eye care and vision solutions are still global problems

Poor vision is the number one reason for children leaving school early. Poor vision reduces work time by up ten years and has further consequences for life, education and productivity at work. Ninety (90) per cent of the 285 million visually impaired or blind people with no access to modern eye and vision care live in developing countries. The World Health Organization estimates that the worlds gross-domestic product could be US$270 Billion higher if all of these people could get refractive correction and access to medical eye care.

ZEISS has been supporting initiatives to fight preventable blindness for many years now and is engaged in providing people in the developing world with access to modern eye care, says Karen Roberts, vice president at ZEISS Vision Care business group and a member of the advisory board for the project. Creating more awareness for low vision, vision impairment and preventable blindness as real world health issues is a major step in helping fight this issue.

The Story of Vision will reveal the vision crisis that is taking place across the globe and the amazing individuals who fight to overcome it. The documentary will present the research focused on curing blindness and improving low vision in our aging population, and cover the intersection of optics, digital science and medicine that hold promises for all of us to keep our sight, explained Koenig. The film will also show the history of using optics to correct vision and the fashion that keeps glasses on our noses.

Over the past 12 months, the film crew traveled to the United States, India, Africa, Australia, Vietnam, China, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Peru, Germany and Italy to capture fascinating information and stories about vision on film. This also allowed them to demonstrate the global nature of the vision crisis.

SIGHT will be aired first in the United States in Fall, 2015, but will be shown by other broadcasters in Europe, Latin America and Asia and will eventually be seen by millions of viewers around the world. The SEEING planetariums show, scheduled for premiere in early 2016, will tell the story of vision in a three-dimensional, full-dome presentation. This will be made available to the 1,200 planetariums around the world. This will also be supplemented with an education program, SEEING: From Photons to Our Mind, which has been specially created to teach older school age children and their families how human vision works.