Come aiutare chi ha un deficit visivo: 5 semplici regole

Aiutare le persone con deficit visivo

Con le misure di distanziamento è diventato molto più difficile per le persone con disabilità visiva orientarsi e, soprattutto, individuare gli altri come punto di riferimento per muoversi correttamente nell’ambiente esterno. Ecco allora cinque regole da seguire per aiutare le persone con deficit visivo nella quotidianità.

The blindness of inaction


On 11 June 2019 the Parliamentary Intergroup for Sight Prevention was presented in Rome at the Chamber of Deputies. Its objective is to bring eye health prevention to the heart of Italian health policies, with the ambitious goal of saving the sight of Italian citizens through good health-care practises

This initiative was promoted by a group of MPs in the wake of a number of awareness campaigns run by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness – IAPB Italy, which carried out a screening for retinal and optic nerve pathologies at the premises of Italy’s lower and upper chambers. 

At least three million Italians are affected by eye diseases that compromise the retina and the optic nerve, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, each affecting about one million people. 

Paolo Russo MP, President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Sight Prevention, has stated that “prevention is an absolute necessity.” Dr. Marco Verolino, Head of Ophthalmics at the Ospedali Riuniti Area Vesuviana ASL Napoli 3 Sud, added that “today the best cure for problems of the visual system is still prevention.” 


Amongst the speakers was also Mr. Giuseppe Castronovo, President of IAPB Italy, who stated: “Prevention is maybe the noblest word. […] If we are talking about the prevention of blindness, then it becomes a wonderful word, especially for me, since I lost my sight at the age of nine to a World War II shell. […] We always insist that people must go to an ophthalmologist for an examination. […] Prevention needs to be in place from birth and maybe, if possible, even before (from gestation).”

Prof. Filippo Cruciani, scientific advisor of IAPB Italy, explained that “researchers are committed on various fronts and they have produced some results, but we especially need to invest in prevention, both in primary and secondary terms. Primary prevention basically means lifestyle, while secondary prevention consists of early diagnosis, when diseases are still in the asymptomatic stage. Unfortunately prevention is still not widespread in Italy.


Paolo Russo MP, President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Sight Prevention (FI)
Giuseppe Castronovo, President of IAPB Italy
Guido De Martini MP, Member of the Social Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies (Lega)
Dr. Marco Verolino, Head of Ophthalmics at the Ospedali Riuniti Area Vesuviana ASL Napoli 3 Sud
Prof. Filippo Cruciani, scientific advisor of IAPB Italy

Let’s open our eyes on Togo


In the African country projects for the prevention of blindness are in progress, from ophthalmological screenings to cataract surgery

visite_oculistiche_in_togo-14-ok-ottotipo-albero-600pix.jpgThere is a region in the north of the African State of Togo (Bassar area) where sight disorders are particularly widespread.

Precisely for this reason a mass screening was organized: the last stage took place from Monday 6 May to Friday 10 May 2019 by the association “Fon.T.Es-So.T.Es-Togo”.

This mass screening entails the carrying out a total of approximately 3,000 eye examinations on people suffering from eye diseases. At the time of writing, about 1,500 examinations have been performed and 500 pairs of glasses have been donated. Furthermore, out of about 120 surgical procedures have been scheduled.

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy firmly believes in this project and actively supports it with a contribution.

These illnesses could easily be avoided by adopting simple preventive measures, but only less than a quarter of the rural population can be treated. The causes are varied and can mainly be linked to the lack of facilities and resources: the excessive cost of actually travelling to clinics and hospitals, unusable roads, the lack of ophthalmic centres, fear or distrust and the lack of information.

To compensate for these difficulties the association “Fon.T.Es-So.T.Es-Togo” has organized a mass screening that also includes cataract interventions.

In addition to cataracts, the project aims to prevent trachoma, vitamin A deficiency (xeroftalmia), pterygium and damage caused by glaucoma, in the rural populations.


visita_oculistica-togo-web.jpgSince 2015 IAPB Italy has collaborated with the aforementioned association – also supported by the Italian association, Gruppo San Francesco d’Assisi (St. Francesco of Assisi Group) – for the setting up of a medical-social centre, complete with ophthalmology and school integration services, in Lomé (Togo).


The boarding school, which houses a hundred pupils (nursery, intermediate and high school), is run entirely by Togolese personnel and offers an education to blind children, almost all of whom are from very poor families, who live in a vast area of the African country.

It is, in fact, the only structure existing in that huge region, designated to blind children who unfortunately, due to the precarious hygiene and health conditions, represent a significant part of the child population. Overall it is a small reality that operates with scarce resources in a context in which the problems relating to blindness are devastating and where the fundamental tools for prophylaxis are lacking.


attesa_per_una_visita_medica_in_togo-web-600pix.jpgThe IAPB Italy (our non-profit organization) decided to collaborate on the setting up of a medical-social centre connected to the school facility, by firstly providing financial aid and then by contributing to the organization and structuring of the centre itself.

Source: Fon.T.Es-So.T.Es-Togo

Privacy & Cookies Policy


International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy –

IAPB Italy, with its registered office in Via U. Biancamano 25 – 00185 Rome (hereinafter, “Controller”), as data controller, informs you – pursuant to art. 13 D.Lgs. 30.6.2003, no. 196 (hereinafter, “Data Protection Code“) and art. 13 EU Regulation no. 2016/679 (hereinafter, “GDPR“) – that your data will be processed in the described manner and for the following purposes:


The Controller collects and processes personal data (such as name, surname, address, telephone number, e-mail, bank and payment details) – hereinafter, “personal data” or even “data” – which you have provided at the time of registering to the Controller’s site or subscribing to any of its services.


Your personal data are processed:

2.A) without your express consent art. 24 lett. a), b), c) of the Data Protection Code and art. 6 lett. b), e) of [GDPR] for the following Service Purposes: the Company processes the personal data provided by you or already in its possession, to finalise, manage and perform the activity requested by you. For instance: participation in the Forum “Ask the ophthalmologist”, phone calls to our toll-free number 800-068506 [available from Italy only, otherwise call + 39 06 36004929 from abroad], participation in development projects and/or mini-projects, donations, legacies, devolution of the 5xmille to IAPB with your tax return;

2.B) with your express consent only (articles 23 and 130 of the Data Protection Code, article 7 of GDPR), for the following Marketing Purposes: to send you by email, mail and/or sms and/or telephone, newsletter, any commercial and/ or promotional communications on projects, events, activities or services offered by the Controller. In such cases, the provision of your personal data will be optional and your refusal will not have any consequences on the legal relationships already existing or being established, thus precluding only the performance of the activities indicated in this point


The processing of your personal data is carried out by means of the operations indicated in art. 4 of the Data Protection Code and art.4 no. 2) of GDPR and more precisely: collection, registration, organization, storage, consultation, processing, modification, selection, extraction, comparison, usage, interconnection, blocking, communication, cancellation and destruction of data. Your personal data is subjected to both paper based and electronic and/or automated processing.

The Data Controller will process personal data for the time necessary to fulfill the aforementioned purposes and in any case for no more than 10 years from the termination of the Service Finality relationship and for no more than 6 years from the collection of data for Marketing Purposes.


Your data may be made accessible for the purposes referred to in art. 2.A and art. 2.B to anybody who, within the Company, and within parent companies, affiliated companies or subsidiaries of IAPB Italy, need them in consequence of their tasks or company role. These subjects, whose number will be as limited as possible, will be appropriately trained in order to avoid losses, destruction, unauthorized access or unauthorized processing of the data.

Furthermore, data may be disclosed to: (i) institutions, authorities, public bodies for their institutional purposes; (ii) professionals, independent collaborators, also in associated form; third parties and suppliers used by the Controller for the provision of services of a commercial, professional and technical nature, which may be useful to the management of the Site and related functionalities (eg. IT service providers and Cloud Computing), to the pursuit of the purposes specified above and the services requested by the user; (iii) third parties in the case of mergers, acquisitions, sale of company or business units, audits or other extraordinary transactions; (iv) the corporate SB [[Supervisory Body]], domiciled with the Controller, for the pursuit of its supervisory activities and the implementation of the IAPB Italy Code of Conduct. These subjects will only receive the data necessary for the relevant functions and will undertake to use them only for the purposes indicated above and to treat them in compliance with the applicable privacy legislation. The data can also be communicated to the legitimate recipients according to the applicable legislation. With the exception of the aforementioned, the data is not shared with third parties, natural or legal persons, who do not perform any commercial, professional or technical function for the Controller and will not be disclosed. The subjects who receive the data treat it as Controllers, Managers or subjects authorized to process it, depending on the case, for the purposes indicated above and in compliance with the applicable law on privacy.

Regarding the possible transfer of data to Third Countries, including countries that may not guarantee the same level of protection as the applicable legislation, the Data Controller declares that the processing will take place according to one of the methods allowed by the Regulation, such as for example the user’s consent, the adoption of Standard Clauses approved by the European Commission, the selection of subjects belonging to international programs for free circulation of data, (eg. EU-USA Privacy Shield) or operating in countries considered safe by the European Commission.


Without the need for express consent ex art. 24 lett. a), b), d) of the Data Protection Code and art. 6 lett. b) and c) of [GDPR], the Data Controller may share your data for the purposes referred to in art. 2.A to companies providing IT and archival services, or other technical/organizational services as well as to those subjects to whom the communication is mandatory by law for the accomplishment of said purposes. These subjects will process the data in their capacity as independent data controllers. Your information will not be disseminated.


Personal data is stored on servers located within the European Union. In any case, it is understood that the Data Controller, if necessary, will have the right to move the servers even outside the EU. In this case, the Data Controller hereby ensures that the transfer of data outside the EU will take place in accordance with the applicable legal provisions, subject to the stipulation of the standard contractual clauses provided by the European Commission.


The provision of data for the purposes referred to in art. 2.A is mandatory. In their absence, we can not guarantee the services listed in art. 2.A.
The provision of data for the purposes referred to in art. 2.B is optional. You can therefore decide not to provide any data or to subsequently deny the possibility to process data already given: in this case, you will not be able to receive newsletters, commercial and promotional communications concerning the Services offered by the Data Controller. However, you will continue to be entitled to the Services referred to in art. 2.A.


In your capacity as an interested party, you have the rights set forth in art. 7 of the Data Protection Code and art. 15 of GDPR. Precisely, you have the right to:

i. obtain confirmation of the existence or not of personal data concerning you, even if not yet registered, and their communication in an intelligible form;

ii. obtain the indication: a) of the origin of personal data; b) of the purposes and methods of the processing; c) of the logic applied in case of processing carried out with the aid of electronic instruments; d) of the identification details of the controller, the managers and the designated representative pursuant to art. 5, paragraph 2 of the Data Protection Code and art. 3, paragraph 1, of GDPR; e) of the subjects or categories of subjects to whom the personal data may be shared with or who may become aware of it as a designated representative in the territory of the State, of managers or agents;

iii. obtain: a) the update, rectification or, when you have an interest in it, integration of data; b) the cancellation, transformation into anonymous form or blocking of data processed unlawfully, including data whose retention is unnecessary for the purposes for which the data was collected or subsequently processed; c) the attestation that the operations referred to in letters a) and b) have been brought to the attention, also as regards to their content, of those subjects with whom the data has been shared or disseminated, except in the case where this proves to be impossible or involves a use of means manifestly disproportionate to the protected right;

iv. to object, in whole or in part: a) for legitimate reasons, to the processing of personal data concerning you, even if pertinent to the purpose of the collection; b) to the processing of personal data concerning you for the purpose of sending advertising or direct sales material or for carrying out market research or commercial communication, through the use of automated call systems without the intervention of an operator by e-mail and/or through traditional marketing methods by telephone and/or paper mail. It should be noted that the right of opposition of the interested party, set out in point b) above, for direct marketing purposes through automated methods extends to traditional ones and that in any case the possibility remains for the data subject to exercise the right of opposition also only partially. Therefore, the interested party can decide to receive only communications using traditional methods or only automated communications or none of the two types of communication.

Where applicable, the data subject also has the rights referred to in Articles 16-21 of GDPR (right of rectification, right to be forgotten, right of limitation of treatment, right to data portability, right of opposition), as well as the right of complaint to the Guarantor Authority.


You can exercise your rights at any point by getting in touch with us:

➢ by email:
➢ by post: IAPB Italia onlus – Via U. Biancamano, 25 – 00185 Rome, Italy
➢ by phone: +39 06 36004929 (fax 06 36086880)


The Data Controller is IAPB Italy, with its registered office in Via U. Biancamano, 25 – 00185 Rome, Italy;
the updated list of data processors is kept at the Data Controller’s headquarters.



This website uses technical and third-party cookies (such as Awstats [it], YouTube, Facebook, Google Analytics, Mailchimp).

By continuing to browse this website, you are consenting to their use in accordance with the regulations in force. Their use by the IAPB Italy has statistical purposes: in order to offer a better website, user data are periodically analyzed. Remember, however, that the Website user has, at any time, the possibility to block such cookies (small traceability programs) by modifying their browser’s settings accordingly.

As for the use of Google Analytics, the user can disable it by downloading and activating an additional browser component. Please note that Google uses collected Personal Data to track or examine the use of this Application, compile reports and share them with other services. Google may use personal data to contextualise and personalize the advertisements of its advertising network. In May 2018, the terms of Google’s Privacy Policy has also changed.


By modifying the settings of your browser, you can manage cookies in order to respect your preferences. Each browser offers the possibility of accepting or not cookies in a specific manner for different websites and web applications. In addition, some browsers also allow you to define different settings for “First-party” and “Third-party” cookies.

Warning: disabling cookies may prevent the use of some features of this website. The disabling of “Third-party” cookies does not affect the browsing in any way.

The procedure slightly varies depending on the type of browser. For detailed instructions, follow one of the following links:

· Internet Explorer
· Firefox
· Google Chrome
· Opera
· SeaMonkey
· Safari
· Safari (iOS)

The normative reference is to the “Individuazione delle modalità semplificate per l’informativa e l’acquisizione del consenso per l’uso dei cookies” (Identification of the simplified procedure for the policy and acquisition of consent for the use of cookies) of 8th May 2014 (published on the Gazzetta Ufficiale, n. 126 of 3rd June 2014).

· For further information: website of the “Garante per la Privacy” (Italian Data Protection Authority).
· Read the EU Regulation

Please note: this website offers content for information purposes only, which cannot replace an eye examination.

The “burden” of myopia


Preventing myopia is possible, at least partially, thanks to a healthier lifestyle and spending more time outdoors from childhood

visita-polo-occhialini-prova-1-web.jpgMore than 1.4 billion people in the world are short-sighted and their numbers seem destined to increase: half of the world’s population is likely to become short-sighted by 2050 [precisely 48%, equal to 4.76 billion inhabitants]]. These are the numbers quoted by Ophthalmology in its [editorial of March 2018. It is estimated that today, approximately one third (33.6%) of Europeans aged 50 to 54 years are affected by myopia.

Can something be done to prevent myopia or at least slow down its progression? The answer is: yes. In fact, excluding genetic factors, we can work on improving lifestyles: “There is strong evidence that greater time spent outdoors is associated with a lower incidence of myopia”.

It is also necessary to promote “exercise, fitness, reduced screen time, and weight control”. In short, more open air and less pixels… Such a lifestyle should be followed from childhood, as exposure to natural light helps prevent the excessive lengthening of the eyeball.

occhiali-montatura-freedigitalphotos_net-web-ok-photospipdcba350684f18e8e7ca91e7ceac8be57.jpgThe authors of the article – all Americans [[medical researchers working in California (Eye Monitoring Center), in Boston (Harvard Medical School and Department of Ophthalmology) and in Maryland (National Eye Institute)]] – write that the risks of major complications incurred by people with high myopia, range from retinal detachment to glaucoma, and include cataracts, choroidal neovascularization, optic neuritis, staphyloma and myopic macular degeneration.

Read also: “Giovani meno miopi all’aria aperta” (Young less myopic in the open air)

Main Source: Ophthalmology

Prize competition “Open your eyes!” returns in schools


The main protagonists are teachers, students of primary schools and their families. Registration is already open: the deadline is 30th April 2019

The prevention campaign “Open Your Eyes!” (“Apri gli Occhi!” in Italian) is now available in schools in a digital format, in order to “enlighten” pupils, teachers and parents about eye care and the importance of sight.

In the 2018-2019 school year, the campaign is based on an innovative formula once again: everything takes place on a multimedia platform geared mainly towards teachers, as in the previous school year. The objective is to help protect eye health through teaching.

Families and students of primary schools and those in the last year of nursery schools can request that teachers adopt the project. The new deadline for the “Trivia” prize competition is 30th April 2019. [[Participants can register immediately and classes can play until 30th April 2019. Each registered class will have the opportunity to play 3 times (10 questions each time). At the end of the competition, the system will automatically take into consideration only the best performances (highest number of correct answers, in the shortest time); in this way, children will feel encouraged to do their best. The online challenge must always be mediated by the teacher]]

The inter-school competition will take place among the classes that have participated in the game-based training (10 questions each time out of a total of a hundred, in order to effectively simulate the final online challenge), a new version of which was released on 8th November 2018. In the final phase, classes will have to answer ten randomly selected multiple choice questions among those that had been proposed during the training.

The initiative, which has been conceived by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy, is managed by CivicaMente: it is aimed primarily at children aged 5 to 11 years old, so as to teach them about prevention of vision disorders in an enjoyable way. Thanks to the “Apri gli Occhi!” campaign, you can download the educational multimedia and read additional in-depth informative materials, which are useful for school lessons.

The teaching tools, which are free of charge, that are available to teachers and their classes are, in particular, the following:

  • the DIGITAL cartoon lesson;

By visiting the Italian competition’s website, teachers can download the material and register their accounts. Children will then have until 30th April 2019 to prepare for the challenge and try to win the prize: a supply of school materials, which is worth 250 euros.

In conclusion, the prevention of visual impairment can be “switched on” through educational and fun activities. You can ask any teacher to take part in the “Apri gli Occhi!” campaign.

Useful links: Concorso Trivia

The “Caravan of Health” goes to Marche Region


In two Italian towns, San Benedetto del Tronto and San Severino, free check-ups were available for everyone

umo-fiori-web-400pixel.jpgThe “Caravan of Health” – consisting of several Mobile Ophthalmology Units – has concluded its Marche appointments, providing free eye examinations on board the hi-tech campervans of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy. The examinations took place in San Benedetto del Tronto on 8th July and in San Severino on 9th July 2018.


Thanks to the various associations and doctors that participated in the initiative – a collaboration between IAPB Italy, Susan G. Komen Italy, the A. Gemelli Polyclinic Hospital Foundation, the Red Cross and Amplifon – it was possible to receive not only an eye examination, but also a mammography, a clinical breast examination and an ultrasound scan. Auditory checks were also available in San Benedetto. In total, over 600 free examinations were carried out at the two events.


The campaign was presented on 2nd July at the City Hall of St. Benedetto del Tronto and was promoted by the Federazione Nazionale Pensionati (FNP-CISL), one of Italy’s retired workers’ unions. carovana_salute_san_benedetto_tronto-8_luglio_2018.jpg

In addition to local authorities, Michele Corcio (Vice-president of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy) and Mario Canale (General Secretary of FNP Marche) also participated in the event.[[Coordinated by Maria Trentin, National Women’s Coordination of FNP-CISL and concluded by Loreno Coli, Assistant General Secretary of the National FNP-CISL]]

Mr. Corcio said on that occasion:

Our individual behavior also determines the onset or progress of certain pathologies. Therefore public institutions must invest in more and better prevention campaigns, because in doing so, significant savings on public spending can be achieved. […] Citizens are advised to obtain scientifically correct information. [[For example, by contacting the toll free number 800-068506 (an ophthalmologist will answer) active from Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.]] […] We must pay attention to diabetic retinopathy, as it is linked to our diet, our lifestyle.

Giulio Grazioli, Regional Secretary of FNP-CISL Marche, observed at the conclusion of the presentation that:

The high turnout of people for this initiative shows the importance of health and prevention. A theme that has always been a priority for us, and one to which we will continue to stay committed through the implementation of local policies, with the aim of raising awareness in people of all ages, especially in pensioners, in order to convince them of the need to take care of themselves.

The screenings carried out during the “Caravan of Health” did not only represent a message to promote the culture of prevention: from some examinations, symptoms have emerged, such as the identification of nodules, which require further close study and are concrete evidence of the importance of taking care of and monitoring our own health.

Source: CISL Pensioners

Free eye examinations still available for first-timers


IAPB Italy, the Italian Society of Ophtalmology and “Insieme per la Vista” Foundation make eye examinations available for free to promote prevention

visita-oculistica-anziana-struttura-ospedaliera-2-photospip185b43b2a8aa0a434e26f13956e41f3a.jpgIf you have not already done so, arrange an eye examination as soon as possible because you are still entitled to it. You can make a free appointment at one of the many specialists participating in the campaign that was launched on the occasion of World Sight Day, on 11th October, 2018 (click here to the website in Italian).

In fact, this autumn – thanks to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy, the Italian Society of Ophthalmology (SOI) and “Insieme per la Vista” Foundation – the prevention campaign continues for those who have never been to an ophthalmologist.

The President of SOI, Dr. Matteo Piovella, has explained il_dott._matteo_piovella_presidente_soi_-ritratto.jpg:

This project [[Promoted by SOI, IAPB Italy and “Insieme per la Vista” Foundation.]] aims to save sight, an asset that many start to appreciate only when they are losing it … Regardless of anyone’s condition, by 2050 the number of blind or partially sighted people will increase threefold. Our country is struggling… What we are talking about [[Namely the right to health: “The Republic protects health as a fundamental right of the individual and the interest of the community, and guarantees free care to those with low income” (Article 32 of the Italian Constitution, first paragraph).]] is a constitutional right … The first collective responsibility is to give correct information. Prevention and treatment, in ophthalmology, are the same thing. We must change our mentality: we must make mothers understand that a child should always be taken to have an eye examination.
From an early age, people are entitled to receive a periodic full eye examination (including dilation of the pupil to check the fundus of the eye). Take action by booking a free examination now! It’s important.

From an early age, people are entitled to receive a periodic full eye examination (including dilation of the pupil to check the fundus of the eye). Take action by booking a free examination now! It’s important.

Useful link: International World Sight Day Page (2018)