Blindness Awareness Month
In 2009 the Little Rock Foundation initiated Blindness Awareness Month in the state of New Jersey. Launched by Rocco Fiorentino, who is totally blind, and now 15 years old, the goal of Blindness Awareness Month is to help everyone understand what it’s like to live without sight. Throughout the month of October there are events and activities that build awareness about ways to prevent, treat, cure blindness and serious visual impairments. The hope is to educate the public about eye disease and eye care and to address the rising trend of blindness and severe visual impairment.
Rocco Fiorentino has been an advocate for the blind community since age five. He has lobbied in front of New Jersey State Legislators to improve Braille education in the state for $1.2 million dollars. Rocco's impact saved the jobs of over 50 employees of the NJ Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, totaling $600,000. "The goal of Blindness Awareness Month is to help people understand what it’s like to live without sight. When I give presentations to schools and talk about my disability, students and teachers did not understand the challenges facing blind and visually impaired people. When I initiated Blindness Awareness Month in the State of New Jersey it was my goal to take this educational program across the country. We now have 44 states that recognize Blindness Awareness Month with collaborated event and activities throughout the country."
In October 2010, the City of Naples proclaimed October as Blindness Awareness Month and World Sight Day