Many Americans fear blindness above all other disabilities, according to a recent study. For a majority of respondents, losing vision would be as bad or worse than losing hearing, memory, speech or a limb.

The Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness was founded in 1916 to reduce preventable causes of blindness. ISPB has a rich history of promoting vision and eye health in the state of Illinois and was instrumental in advocating for passage of several sight-saving bills before the Illinois legislature. Dedicated to the care, protection and preservation of sight, ISPB programs today continue to stress education, eye safety, information and research.

Read our fiscal 2017 annual report.

The work of the ISPB is supported by the generosity of individuals, businesses, organizations, corporations, and foundations. Contributions, remembrances, wills, bequests, and grants make ISPB’s important work possible.


ISPB provides funding for replacement glasses for students in Chicago Public Schools through the Vision Clinic at Princeton School. ISPB also works with low vision clinics to provide low vision aids to patients without insurance or other resources. Funding to help support these programs was provided through a bequest from the estate of Waldemar Lelewski and other generous donors.

Additionally, ISPB sponsors named lectures at the annual conference for professionals in the fields of ophthalmology and optometry.

Research Grants

Each year, ISPB awards small seed grants to medical students, residents, fellows, assistant professors and other junior faculty. Funding for ISPB Research Grants comes from foundations, trusts and individuals committed to vision research. The Research Committee consists of ISPB board members and other professionals from ophthalmology and optometry. The committee evaluates applications based on the validity of the hypothesis, scientific rigor and usefulness of final data. Learn more.


Through a generous grant to Prevent Blindness – Illinois, ISPB supports outreach programs to professionals and the public on eye and vision health and safety for children and adults. Interested to see how many adults over 40 have vision problems in Illinois? Click here and select our state.