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A.S.P.E.C.T. Patient Engagement Program

“ASPECT has taught me that storytelling is a foundational and powerful piece to educate and advocate for improved outcomes for people with vision loss.”

~ ASPECT graduate

“The ASPECT program has really helped me to improve my self-efficacy as a patient advocate and increase the quality of my self-care.”

~ ASPECT graduate

Advocacy, Support, Perspective, Empowerment, Communication, & Training

Why is the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program needed?

The patient has been described as the ‘greatest untapped resource in healthcare’, and patient engagement termed ‘the blockbuster drug of the century’.

Health-focused efforts must incorporate factors identified by the patients and allies themselves, and the only way to achieve this is by having robust program in place to incorporate their voices. To date, no such program exists to support the patient’s role as a leader in vision and eye health in the U.S.

What is the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program?

To address the lack of a program supporting patients in vision health, Prevent Blindness developed the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program– Advocacy, Support, Perspective, Empowerment, Communication, and Training– which aims to strengthen our patient empowerment efforts for vision into a coordinated program that engages the individual in a more comprehensive manner. The goal of the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program is to empower individuals to be engaged in their eye health from every direction and in every way.

Who Participates in the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program?

Individuals of all ages (including family members of children younger than age 18), with any eye disease/condition, residing anywhere across the nation and globally who are passionate about becoming vision and eye health advocates. Past participants have ranged in age from 17 to 80’s. They have been individuals with vision impairment and blindness, researchers, low vision rehabilitation experts, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists and Optometry students, Ophthalmology residents, Emergency Medicine physician, artists, writers, psychologists, and entrepreneurs.  You must have access to a computer and internet.

Apply to Join the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program

How will the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program be implemented?

From the start, the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program will be intentionally carried on a collaborative basis; meaning together we will coproduce the learning experiences from meetings and workshops, communication approaches, and establishing a Patient/Ally Leaders Expert Advisory Group for the life of the project. Through this new approach all aspects of needs and opportunity for growth will be addressed.

What will the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program accomplish?

Through their participation in the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program, patients and allies will:

  • Become versed and involved in the vision condition that impacts their life and understand the disease process
  • Receive our V2 (Voice for Vision) advocacy training which creates powerful voices addressing vision conditions in local, state, and national settings

Voice for Vision Sample Curricula Topics:

      • Anatomy of the eye
      • Storytelling as an advocacy tool
      • The use of technology and social media to promote your message
      • The advocacy process and mock legislative sessions
      • Mental health and well-being
      • Engaging in research- what it is, why it matters that patients get involved
      • Patient-provider communication and model of disability
  • Gain access to diverse platforms in which they can lead the change in policies resulting in an improved quality of life for those at risk of or experiencing vision loss

We recognize that these individuals have the most powerful voice when it comes to making the case for improving practices and policies related to eye health– but they might not have the skill sets or opportunities to raise their voices. The A.S.P.E.C.T. Program will change all of that.

What are the long-term outcomes of the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program?

  •  A patient-driven curricula promoting engagement in eye disease and eye health preservation is implemented
  • Diverse eye health organizations have an opportunity to collaborate in a program that will result in passionate and engaged advocates that will further drive each of their missions
  • Each cohort of patient graduates from the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program will serve as an ongoing resource for individual or peer-to-peer education, support groups, eye disease campaigns, educational resource material development, provide committee membership or leadership on behalf of eye health, or advocate at all levels for improved access to eye care and treatment
  • Patients are provided with tools and education that gives them control of their eye disease in a new way, allows the participants to be a leader for eye health, and to have their story and experience recognized for its importance
  • Best practices in patient engagement will be developed and shared via diverse communication channels

How can I engage with A.S.P.E.C.T.?

Individuals/groups interested in engaging with A.S.P.E.C.T. should contact Julie Grutzmacher, Director of National Collaboration and Engagement at Prevent Blindness ([email protected]) to determine opportunities for direct collaboration or support.

A.S.P.E.C.T. Patient Engagement Program

The consequences of patients not engaging is borne most heavily by the patients themselves and their families, in the form of emotional, physical, social, and financial costs; but it also has a significant impact on social and healthcare systems with respect to duplication of efforts, decreased capacity, wasted resources, suboptimal outcomes and increases in health inequities.

ASPECT Program

Cohort 1 (FY 20-21)

23 participants total

  • 10 patients
  • 11 Caregivers/ Allies/ Clinicians/ Researchers
  • 2 nonprofit partner representatives
  • Variety of ages and eye conditions
  • 8 Under-represented minorities
  • Representing 12 states

Cohort 2 (Summer of 2021)

24 participants

  • 19 patients
  • 7 clinicians/researchers
  • Variety of ages and eye conditions
  • 14 under-represented minorities
  • Representing 11 states and New Zealand

A – advocacy: Provide opportunities to shape policy and practices that promote healthy vision, access to care, and reduction in vision impairment

S – support: Provide resources, peers, and professionals that will help individuals understand their conditions, the disease process, and work toward an improved vision-related quality of life

P – perspective: Promote inclusion of patient perspectives at the local, state, and national levels leading to effective and sustainable systems, processes, and outcomes

E – empowerment: Establish a pathway for participants from self-discovery, to peersupport, to community engagement as it relates to their vision and eye health

C – communication: Create a communication system that provides evidence-based education, peer-to-peer support, and consistent information from a trusted source

T – training: Build skills in patients and individuals that fosters fully inclusive, confident, and collaborative work with professionals, clinicians, and policy-makers

A.S.P.E.C.T. Fact Sheet

Apply to Join A.S.P.E.C.T.

Applications are due by Friday, November 12, 2021

Who supports the A.S.P.E.C.T. Program?

The A.S.P.E.C.T. Program is generously supported by the following corporations:

Sustaining Level Partners




Premier Level Partners



Supporting Level Partners



Biotechnology Innovation Organization