AS THE International Day of Deafblindness was celebrated on Tuesday, Marcelo Rosado, ONCE representative for Andalucia, Ceuta and Melilla and Jose Angel Moral-Tajadura, Retail and Business Development Manager for Specsavers Spain held a press conference to announce a new fundraising campaign, which will launch at Specsavers Opticas stores across Spain next Monday.
Specsavers Opticas will be supporting the ONCE Foundation for the Deaf-Blind (La Fundacion ONCE para la Atencion de Personas con Sordoceguera – FOAPS) over the next six months – offering free comprehensive eye tests at all eight of their opticians and asking patients to donate €1 to FOAPS after their test until the end of the year.
Their aim is to raise €6,000 to fund 400 hours of interpreting for the deaf-blind.
All funds raised will be donated to FOAPS to fund interpreters who are crucial to allow deaf-blind people to lead a full life and communicate.
This is part of FOAPS’ 10-year anniversary campaign to raise awareness of the issues that deaf blind people face and boost funding so they can help more of these vulnerable people who, without their help, would be totally isolated.
Specsavers’ Retail and Business Development Manager Jose Angel Moral-Tajadura commented: ‘One of our key objectives in Spain has been to collaborate with an organisation such as ONCE, which is so important in helping people with sight loss. I hope that this collaboration won’t just last for 6 months and that we will collaborate with ONCE and their foundations over the long term.’
He added that his commitment was to beat their €6,000 target and that he would be working closely with all the stores so that in January he can return to ONCE and celebrate the end of a highly successful campaign.
‘Our eye tests are comprehensive and centred around professionalism and clinical care. We offer eye tests of the back of the eye and take digital retinal photography, as well as other tests which can detect signs related to glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other issues. These issues, if not caught early and referred to an ophthalmologist, can cause partial or total sight loss, problems which ONCE understand very well’, he explained.
ONCE representative Marcelo Rosado explained the very important work that the FOAPS interpreters undertake. He added that there are 100 interpreters working in Spain, offering a very personalised service depending on the level of visual and hearing loss and the different personal situations of each individual.
Rosado said that FOAPS is currently offering interpreter services to 377 people; 260 adults and 117 children – more than 46,000 hours in 2017.
‘As we add more activities there are more needs and so initiatives such as this one from Specsavers Opticas are very important.’
Those who wish to participate in the campaign should visit their nearest Specsavers Opticas store for a comprehensive eye test and donate just €1 between July and December 2017.
Specsavers Opticas have eight stores in Spain, on the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and in Mallorca.