Impact Beacon shares stories and innovations of social entrepreneurs around the world in order to create a discovery hub for the social impact community. Their vision is to grow into a social impact discovery hub, both for social entrepreneurs looking for opportunities to collaborate as well as for organizations—including incubators, investors, and more—seeking a new social enterprise to support.
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In 2002, Malaysian native Stevens Chan was diagnosed with glaucoma. He didn’t know he had an eye disease, let alone one with no obvious symptoms, no cure, and which often leads to blindness. His vision loss occurred quickly. In just 5 years, he was blind. Stevens’ experience led him to establish a Malaysian branch of Dialogue in the Dark, a social enterprise that works to increase public awareness around preventable blindness and support individuals with visual impairments.
Stevens is far from alone in his experience with blindness. The World Health Organization estimates that 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, and 39 million of them are entirely blind. At the same time, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured as long as people have access to the right information and treatment options. Unfortunately, many do not. Stevens is working to change that in Malaysia.
Launching Dialogue in the Dark in Malaysia
When Stevens became blind, he launched an art exhibit to inform people about the importance of preventative eye exams and remind people to appreciate their eyesight. He was determined to continue growing these public awareness efforts, and became an active participant in conferences and other networking opportunities.