Optelec and ShopLowVision.com Announce Partnership to Join Foundation Fighting Blindness

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Optelec and Foundation Fighting Blindness share a common mission to bridge the gap between disease, prevention, awareness and providing solutions. This partnership will enable Optelec and ShopLowVision.com to take an active role in helping the more than 350,000 members impacted by visual impairments. Optelec will also launch a new "VisionZONE" for signature fundraiser VisionWalk events.

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This was a logical venture for us. We consistently provide our low vision users with optical solutions that help them maintain their independence, including our advanced electronic magnifiers and daily living aids. We are eager to kick off our relationship with FFB's upcoming VisionWalk in San Diego, the home to our national headquarters.

Optelec US Inc., a world leader in innovative and life-changing assistive technologies for the blind and visually impaired, and its subsidiary company, ShopLowVision.com (SLV), a one-stop-shop site for low vision solutions, announce a new long-term partnership with Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), the largest non-governmental funder of research for retinal eye diseases in the world.

This is the first time two organizations of this nature will join together to amplify public awareness and positively impact the low vision industry. Both companies share a common mission to bridge the gap between disease, prevention, awareness and providing solutions.

FFB supports cutting-edge scientific research for a wide spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases, and provides the public with health education, networking support, and outreach programs. The FFB partnership will enable Optelec and SLV to take an active role in helping the more than 350,000 members impacted by visual impairments.

Optelec and SLV's specific involvement will include supporting FFB in its signature fundraisers of 18 VisionWalks and 12 Dining in the Dark events, participating in FFB's national public outreach programs of 10 Vision Seminar Series, 22 Chapter Meetings, and ongoing Public Service Announcements. Key markets will include California, Chicago, Florida, New York, and Texas.

"Our partnership with Foundation Fighting Blindness is a symbol of our combined commitment to help provide preventions, awareness, treatments and cures for people affected by retinal degenerative diseases," stated Optelec US. Inc's vice president of sales and marketing Andre Hardy. "This was a logical venture for us. We consistently provide our low vision users with optical solutions that help them maintain their independence, including our advanced electronic magnifiers and daily living aids. We are eager to kick off our relationship with FFB's upcoming VisionWalk in San Diego, the home to our national headquarters."

Optelec will launch a new "VisionZONE" at the San Diego VisionWalk event on November 8 which will serve as a preview for what's to come nationally in 2010. The "VisionZONE" allows walkers to experience a variety of activities related to low vision including navigating through an obstacle course wearing sight-reducing goggles; a Daily Living Area complete with low vision products; and a Health & Wellness area with preventative measures and important nutritional information to prevent vision loss. The goal is to educate those who are visually impaired, families and the community about the resources and tips that can easily be integrated into daily routines.

Stephanie Wells, director of development for FFB said, "We are very pleased to have Optelec and ShopLowVision join the Foundation Fighting Blindness in our fight for curing retinal degenerative disease. This new partnership with a brand and companies that can fulfill immediate needs for our constituents will make a measurable difference in the daily lives of those who are visually impaired."

More than ten million Americans of every age and race suffer vision loss from blinding diseases such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease and Usher syndrome.

Together with SLV, Optelec is committed to product intelligence and innovation by offering advanced electronic magnification solutions, daily living aids, and educational resources designed to improve the quality of life and mobility for its users. All products help those who are in school, on-the-go, at-home or at-work, providing independence and offering an active lifestyle, regardless of age or condition.

Optelec's Hardy is currently the Business Chair for the San Diego VisionWalk, which is being held on November 8 at Mission Bay Park. The community and local businesses are encouraged to participate in the effort to raise funds, increase awareness, and partake in the "VisionZONE."

For more information, call 800-335-7970 or visit http://www.Optelec.com, http://www.ShopLowVision.com, and http://www.FightBlindness.org.

VisionWalk Event Details
San Diego VisionWalk will be held on Sunday, November 8 at Mission Bay Park - De Anza Cove located at 3000 East Mission Drive, San Diego, CA 92109. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the VisionWalk starts at 10 a.m. Proceeds will support cutting-edge research that aims to put an end to retinal diseases. The 5K walk is a fun-filled, family friendly fundraising event. For more information, visit http://www.visionwalk.org, email visionwalk@shoplowvision.com, or follow at http://www.twitter.com/visionwalksocal.

About Optelec US Inc.
Optelec US. Inc. was founded in 1985 and is recognized as the worldwide market leader in providing innovative solutions for the blind, visually impaired and learning disabled. In January 2007, Tieman US, Holding Company to Optelec US Inc., spun off ShopLowVision.com and LowVision.com as subsidiary sister companies, providing the one-stop-shop for optical, non-optical and daily living aids, products, solutions and education for eye care professionals and consumers. Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/optelec.

About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Foundation Fighting Blindness is the largest source of non-governmental funding for retinal degenerative disease research in the world. The urgent mission of Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. For more information, visit http://www.FightBlindness.org.

Media Contact:

Courtney Berg
BERKMAN
courtney (at) berkmanpr (dot) com
619.231.9977

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