One in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime.
Everyday around 250 people in the UK start to lose their sight and the number of people in the UK with sight loss is set to increase dramatically in the future.
As we get older we are increasingly likely to experience sight loss, and the UK population is ageing. Sight loss is strongly linked with certain medical conditions such as diabetes and lifestyle factors including obesity - the rates of which are both going up.
This means that, without action, the numbers of people with sight problems in the UK are likely to increase dramatically over the next 25 years.
The number of people with sight loss is estimated to rise to more than 2.7 million by 2030 and by 2050 this figure will double to nearly four million.
Businesses must do their bit to ensure that their employees and customers, who suffer from sight loss, get the help and support they need.
That′s why CBI will join Northumbrian Water at the 2018 Innovation Festival and lead a sprint looking at what can be done through innovation and tech to help those with a visual impairment at home and at work.
Sarah Glendinning, CBI North East Director:
"In an ageing society with growing expectations that visual impairment will impact more and more people, it′s critical that businesses step up to play their part.
"Improving the workplace and customer experience for those suffering from visual impairment is a challenge that needs to be tackled head on.
"So businesses must examine how they can deliver innovative solutions and that′s why the CBI is delighted to support this event and the work that Northumbrian Water are doing in this space."
Andrew Kindness, Customer Service Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: "It′s vital we identify solutions to this problem now and the Innovation Festival is a fantastic place for us to do that.
"We′re passionate about our customers and our people and we want to help to anyone who needs support.
"I′m delighted to have the chance to work with CBI, sharing exciting ideas, and working together to come up with life-changing solutions."
To find out what the ‘vision of the future′ sprint team comes up with during the festival you can follow the action live on social media by following @northumbrianh2o on Twitter, following Northumbrian Water on Facebook, or by visiting www.innovationfestival.org.
For further media information, call 0191 3015678.
Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.
In 2017 Northumbrian Water was named Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years. The company has followed this up in 2018 by winning the UK Excellence Award at the British Quality Foundation (BQF) UK Excellence Awards, and Water Company of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards. Northumbrian Water also received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for sustainable development for a second time in 2014, which is accredited for five years. This recognises the company as a business which benefits the environment, society and the economy.
Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ. Telephone 0345 6047468. Website: www.nwl.co.uk