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Optelecís VisionZone LIVE Unites Non-Profits At New York Vision Walk

Originally Posted: May 18, 2010

Participants in last year's event. (Berkman)

New York City - Optelec U.S. Inc., a world leader in innovative and life changing assistive technologies for the blind and visually impaired, is bringing its VisionZone initiative, a nationwide movement to promote ocular health awareness, to the Foundation Fighting Blindness New York VisionWalk on May 23, 2010 in Central Park.

More than 1,000 participants will walk 5K to raise awareness and money for the research of retinal degenerative diseases, as well as learn more about the importance of eye health, supporting resources and assistive technologies through the tented exhibition of VisionZone LIVE. Foundation Fighting Blindness, the largest non-governmental funder of research for retinal eye diseases in the world, has set this year's New York VisionWalk fundraising goal at $400,000.

Designed as the low vision community's first live and virtual eye-health resource, VisionZone bridges the gap between eye disease, prevention, awareness and product solutions. It provides a blended, interactive experience that unites industry partners and creates a centralized social network for those who are visually impaired, their families and surrounding communities.

Optelec's VisionZone LIVE tent will help educate event participants and the public on available services and tips that can be easily integrated into daily routines. Themes include Health & Wellness, Travel & Leisure, School & Work, Hobbies & Games, Reading & Writing, Community, and Experience.

Key partners involved and exhibiting within the VisionZone LIVE experience at the New York VisionWalk include:

 • Optelec and its subsidiary ShopLowVision.com offer a wide range of assistive technologies and daily living aids to help those living with low vision to read, write and live an independent lifestyle.

 • Lighthouse International - A leading non-profit organization dedicated to preserving vision and helping people of all ages overcome the challenges of vision loss.

 • Laugh For Sight - The annual charity benefit showcasing some of the world's best stand-up comedians performing to raise money to combat degenerative eye diseases, held in New York City in late-September 2010 at the Gotham Comedy Club.

Brian Fischler - A nationally recognized, legally blind stand-up comedian and Founder of the Laugh for Sight not-for-profit, who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in his teens. Fischler also plays the lead role in a new short film recently produced by VisionZone to help bring a greater awareness for ocular health through the use of truth and comedy.

As a special treat, CB Holding Corp., which operates Charlie Brown's Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House and The Office Beer Bar & Grill with locations throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, will have a table in the VisionZone LIVE tent to demonstrate its commitment to this cause and to help the visually impaired live a more productive life. Members of the CB Holding Corp. team will be on site passing out menus and loyalty club information from each of the three restaurants with coupons specifically from Charlie Brown's Steakhouse.

The New York VisionWalk is a fun and family-friendly event held on Sunday, May 23 at Central Park - Bandshell, Central Park West and West 72nd Street. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the 5K walk starts at 9 a.m.

Today more than 16 million in the U.S. report some form of visual impairment and that number is expected to double by 2030 as the aging population brings rising rates of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases.

About Optelec U.S. Inc.
Optelec U.S. Inc. was founded in 1985 and is recognized as the worldwide market leader in providing innovative solutions for the blind, visually impaired and learning disabled. In January 2007, Tieman U.S., Holding Company to Optelec US Inc., spun off ShopLowVision.com as a subsidiary company to provide a one-stop-shop for optical, non-optical and daily living aids for eye care professionals and consumers.

About VisionZone
"Connect. Learn. Live. You're Not Alone Anymore." VisionZone is the low vision community's first live and virtual eye-health resource designed to bridge the gap between eye disease, prevention, awareness and product solutions. VisionZone LIVE and VisionZone.org connect the eye care, visually impaired and caretaker communities through a blended interactive experience and major corporate and non-profit partners, including Optelec U.S. Inc., which is spearheading the movement.

For more information go to www.optelec.com; www.visionwalk.org; www.visionzone.org.

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