Founded in 1936, the Prevention of Blindness Society of Metropolitan Washington® (POB) is the largest local prevention of blindness agency in the United States, dedicated to the improvement and preservation of sight by providing services, education, advocacy and innovation.
POB's headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and the organization serves the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George's counties of Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
Each year, POB screens more than 8,000 children for vision loss and strabismus and thousands of adults for glaucoma. These screening services cover a wide range of needs, sometimes resulting in early detection and treatment that could prevent or slow vision loss. Early detection gives a person the best chance to prevent blindness and preserve sight. Many children and adults that POB assists do not receive annual physicals and eye exams, which means we provide their only vision assistance.
POB operates an eyeglasses clinic in Northeast D.C. for its Eyeglasses for the Needy program, which provides affordable eyeglasses to thousands of low-income and homeless community members each year. It also operates a Low Vision Learning Center in Alexandria, VA, which helps community members with low vision retain their independence through low vision examinations and personalized vision rehabilitation.
Education for individuals dealing with vision loss is an invaluable resource to help them make the most of what sight they have. POB regularly sponsors programs that address issues that are important to these individuals as well as their loved ones and facilitates several support and discussion groups to give these individuals a venue to learn and share with others facing vision loss.
POB also offers programs to educate the public about eye health and topics related to vision loss. Visit our event calendar to see upcoming lectures and support group meetings.
Providing the public with the latest eye health information and low vision resources helps community members make informed decisions. With workshops, guest speakers, information on local resources, the Low Vision Learning Center, print publications and more, POB can offer the community vision health education from a trusted source.
Government agencies often provide services for people with vision loss, yet many individuals have difficulty receiving these services. POB has a strong network of people with low vision; their friends and families; staff and volunteers; health care professionals; public health organizations and other partners who come together to advocate for these individuals and connect them with the programs that can help them preserve and improve their sight.
POB continually identifies and meets emerging community needs in its programs and fundraising efforts. The organization has established partnerships with several community resources to provide more opportunities for eye care and more eye health information to the people who need it most. POB also hosts an annual Night of Vision® gala and Eye Run for POB 5K and fun run to raise awareness and funds, and it operates two Look Again® resale shops – one in Alexandria, VA and one in Kensington, MD – with proceeds benefiting local sight-saving programs.
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