The Vision Awards [video]

The Vision Awards™, created in 1972, honors "People of Vision": pioneering visionaries in music, film, television, technology, medical research, leadership and music. The Vision Awards has launched the most up-to-date scientific achievements for vision, and the Vision Awards stage is a platform for daring and extraordinary accomplishments in medical research which have now begun to reverse blindness. In 1995, The Vision Awards presented to the world the first-ever "TheatreVision™ Description for the Blind" motion picture shown in a movie theater. This movie was premiered on December 28, 1994 with the voice of Vin Scully, and on that historic date the motion picture, "Forrest Gump," proved to the world that the blind could re-enter movie theaters and watch television from their homes. It was the first-ever synchronization of audio description of a motion picture shown in a movie theater through the privacy of an earpiece (unheard by the sighted audience), and this innovation opened the doors of accessibility to the nation's 37 million blind, and 180 million people blind globally. The Vision Awards looks forward to an end to blindness, and a continuation to celebrating the best in film, television, music, technology and science.

Each year, The Vision Awards focuses its appreciation on individuals who have used their sight, foresight, and insight to further the development of the creative arts for the benefit and enrichment of humankind. The awards honor accomplished ‘Visionaries’ from across the entertainment industry spectrum – film, TV, music, and live performance -- as well as from the arenas of sports and medicine.


The Eyes of Christmas

[ video #1 Broadcast Promo  ]     [ video #2  Fifity Governors..]    [  video #3  research ]

“The Eyes of Christmas" television special is the brainchild of blind activist and RP International (RPI) founder Helen Harris. The event features two TheatreVision™ national television broadcasts. "It's a Wonderful Life" on NBC and the original 1934 Charles Dickens Scrooge on ION Media Network nationaly and KCOP/FOXTV in California.

The first broadcast includes Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life,” which includes an optional simulcast audio track description on the SAP channel for the visually impaired, narrated by former President George Herbert Walker Bush in TheatreVision. NBC will air the special on December 24th at 8:00 p.m.

“The Eyes of Christmas” culminates in a special 30-minute program on Christmas Day at 6:00 a.m. ET on ION Television. Participating stars that will be sharing Holiday messages and support for RPI include Host Vin Scully, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, Reba McIntyre, Sandra Bullock, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Bob Costas and Natalie Cole. Hollywood studios supporting the show and featuring special film trailers include Universal, Disney, Sony, Fox, and Warner Bros. Harris invites sighted viewers to tune in to take the "traveling eye test." This simple visual test is designed to help people spot possible signs of eye disorders to seek early diagnosis and treatment, possibly averting vision loss.


GOAL: To help detect early signs of Macular Degeneration •Hold this sheet at your comfortable

         Casey Kasem introduces Amsler Grid Test

reading distance. Wear your usual reading lenses. •Cover your left eye. •With your right eye, focus on the grid’s center dot. Can you see all four corners of the grid without removing your gaze from the dot? Do all the lines appear straight and continuous? You may see white dots appearing intermittently at the intersections; these are a normal optical illusion. •Repeat with the other eye.

If the answers are all yes, you’ve passed. If the lines appear wavy or distorted, you’ve failed and should make an emergency appointment with an eye doctor. Any formal eye exam should be done by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.


TheatreVision & Blind Olympics [video]

TheatreVision™© is an exciting new program making films accessible to the visually challenged. The concept of narration and description of motion pictures was created by Helen Harris, founding president of RP International (RPI), the leading non-profit organization in the United States fighting retinitis pigmentosa (RP). and other blinding, degenerative eye diseases. TheatreVision™© is a new process of incorporating a special soundtrack for feature films that runs concurrently with the dialogue of the picture. This track provides a "descriptive narration" of what is being shown on the screen, so that those without sight can still experience the wonderful medium of motion pictures. Over the next few years, plans call for these special narrative tracts to be heard via headsets in theaters all over the United States.

The organization is the pioneer in using the stars, directors, writers who created the film to describe the film using the charities proprietary creative process and patented encoding technology.  Movies come alive when decribed by those who actually created the artistic works and as a charity for the blind, no artist or studio has ever refused to donate and because of their compossion and commitment, the TheatreVision process has changed films and television forever.

With the help and cooperation of many in the Hollywood community, the prototype for “TheatreVision” was developed by Mrs. Harris, who then worked in conjunction with many of the entertainment industry’s leading filmmakers --several of whom have created “TheatreVision” versions of their existing films. These specially formatted films have been made available, through RPI, to libraries, charitable organizations, special screenings, and schools for the blind.

To date, over 150 Hollywood feature films and 500 syndicated television programs have been produced in “TheatreVision,” with many having been narrated by noted celebrities. These have included “Forrest Gump,” “Titanic” (narrated by James Cameron and Angie Dickinson), “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menance” (narrated by Samuel L. Jackson), “Mission Impossible,” “Apollo 13” (narrated by William Shatner), and “It’s A Wonderful Light” (narrated by President George H. W. Bush). More recent entries have included “Twlight,” “Valkkyrie,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Seven Pounds,” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” 


Audio Holiday Greeting Cards [Times Ad]

Audio Holiday Greeting Cards During the Holiday season, RPI ships out audio greeting cards to its constituents. Celebrities donate their time to share their most memorable Christmas moments, which are then recorded and put on a CD. Celebrities include: Christina Aguilera, Tim Allen, Dan Aykroyd,Drew Barrymore, Blind Boys of Alabama, Jon Bon Jovi, Pierce Bronsan, Garth Brooks, Sandra Bullock, Kate Capshaw, George Clooney, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, Bob Costas, Ted Danson, Geena Davis, Celine Dion, Jose’ Feliciano, Morgan Freeman, Charlton Heston, Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, Samuel Jackson, Jewel, Nicole Kidman, Beyonce Knowles, Patti LaBelle, Jay Leno, John Lithgow, Jennifer Lopez, Reba McIntyre, David Hyde Pierce, Meg Ryan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, William Shatner, Brooke Shields, Will Smith, Sting, Oliver Stone, Hilary Swank, Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Jon Voight and Stevie Wonder. . RPI shipped Holiday Greeting Card CD to the following list of recipients from December 20-31, 2010-> 2013 for free.



Kick-A-Thon for sight

Kick A Thons Each year, RP International presents approximately 50 Kick-A-Thons™ in martial arts studios around the country. Through our Kick-A-Thons, martial arts instructors help to teach children and adults about how to detect degenerative blindness. Awareness is created about Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration and other degenerative eye disorders. We also instruct students on how to create optical awareness within their own communities and families. A simple hand held eye test is distributed to them, which is to be shared with relatives, classmates and friends. Students are also presented with an eight-minute video, literature about RP and a customized script, which they can then use to present a lecture about eyesight at their schools or at other youth group functions.



Stop Blindness Campaign