CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, Vista, CA (February 4, 2014) The Macula Vision Research Foundation (MVRF) and Optelec have formed a unique partnership of industry and philanthropy to benefit more than 11 million people in the United States with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or other retinal related diseases.  The goal of this partnership is to continue to increase awareness of AMD and other diseases of the retina and provide information to individuals and their families about the latest research, prevention, treatment and low vision technology and aids for macular degeneration.

MVRF is a national nonprofit focused on funding research to find a cure for macular degeneration and other retinal diseases. To reach this goal, MVRF funds groundbreaking research projects conducted by the world’s top scientists with the hope of improving the lives of millions of people affected by visual impairment.

Optelec is a world leader in innovative and life-changing assistive technology and adaptive aids for the blind and visually impaired.  Optelec’s mission is to play an increasing role for those coping with vision loss and to spread awareness so that optical, daily living aids, electronic video magnification, and speech solutions are readily available.

The collaboration between MVRF and Optelec is centered around MVRF’s SupportSightSM program, the national education and outreach arm of the Foundation which includes three components: free educational seminars in cities across the country, the SupportSightNewsSM, MVRF’s newsletter with a circulation of more than 30,000 and community-based, peer led macular degeneration local support groups.  Through the partnership, MVRF will expand the program to include occupational therapists, home healthcare service providers and other professionals who serve the low vision, rehab or senior services communities.  Optelec is an exclusive assistive technology industry sponsor to the program.

“We are thrilled to be working with a renowned international leader in the assistive technology industry,” commented Dawn Prall George, Executive Director of MVRF. “We make it a priority to help improve the quality of life for those who are visually impaired. It is important for us to stay connected to the millions of people for whom we work to find cure.”

“The SupportSightSM program gives attendees real knowledge of the prevention and continuum of care to see beyond their diagnosis, and Optelec is wonderfully pleased to be a part of it,” commented Stephan Terwolbeck, President of Optelec. “This partnership allows us to connect directly to our customers, communities and organizations to discuss the local support and types of low vision solutions. The service and products can make a significant impact in maintaining one’s independence and restoring both the ability to read and joy to have access to printed materials again.”

MVRF and Optelec will be launching the partnership at MVRF’s upcoming SupportSightSM seminar in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.  For more information about the free seminar, please visit and

About the Macula Vision Research Foundation:

The Macula Vision Research Foundation (MVRF) is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to finding a cure for macular degeneration and other retinal diseases. To reach this goal, MVRF funds groundbreaking research projects conducted by the world’s top scientists with the hope of improving the lives of millions of people affected by visual impairment. What makes MVRF unique is that 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to research. All administrative and fundraising expenses are underwritten by the Karen and Herb Lotman Foundation, allowing MVRF to allocate all donations towards finding a cure. Along with funding research, MVRF also provides education and outreach to those with visual impairments through our SupportSightTM seminars and newsletter.

About Optelec
Optelec enables those who are impacted by vision loss due to retinal eye diseases such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Glaucoma or Diabetic Retinopathy, to remain independent and enjoy life, by reaching out with simple and effective low vision and blindness solutions. Based in the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom, Optelec is the leading distributor, designer and manufacturer of life-changing assistive technologies for people who are visually impaired and blind. Optelec continues to be the global front-runner with a multi-tier distribution in more than 70 countries worldwide. With US headquarters in Vista, CA, Optelec offers a nation wide network for product solutions and low vision rehabilitation.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Dawn Prall George, Executive Director, Macula Vision Research Foundation, please call Dawn at 610-234-0091 or email her at  To schedule an interview with Stephan Terwolbeck, President, Optelec, please call Courtney Berg at 760-650-5502 or email