2010 ESI Winner

VisionSpring

VisionSpring was founded on a very basic principle: “If you can’t see, you can’t work.” For those who work in the textile industry, local tailors, rug makers, bike mechanics, weavers, artisans, and anyone who needs to see up close for their profession, the loss of near vision during prime working years can affect their ability to earn a living and support a family. VisionSpring has broadened the scope of its work to include the distribution of prescription eyeglasses with the understanding that “If you can’t see, you can’t learn.” Recent research conducted in China determined that correcting vision in primary school students is the equivalent of an additional 1/3 – 1/2 year of schooling. Despite this opportunity to have an enormous impact on the working poor and students in the developing world, the market has failed to meet the needs of this demographic.

Dr. Jordan Kassalow, VisionSpring’s founder and co-chairman, gave the ESI Lecture and accepted the award on behalf of VisionSpring.