Change Makers

Change Makers: #ChangeInSight is a global initiative to raise awareness of the realities of vision loss

Using art as a creative vehicle, three artists living with a visual impairment have come together as part of the Change Makers campaign to create a visual and audible artwork to shine a light on the challenges faced by people living with vision loss.

A staggering 2.2 billion people live with vision impairment worldwide.1 Retinal conditions are now affecting more of us than ever before.2,3

Vision loss can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, making even the simplest tasks seemingly difficult – walking, driving, eating; visual impairment also affects wellbeing, social inclusion and quality of life.4 But in the face of this adversity, there are many stories of hope and courage, of bravery and triumph. So, what is it really like to live with low vision, how does it feel, what are the shared experiences faced?

Our Change Makers campaign aims to raise awareness of the impact of vision loss on daily life. Using art as a creative vehicle, three talented artists living with visual impairment – Dave Steele, Rachel Gadsden and Baluji Shrivastav, OBE – have come together to create an audio-visual performance including poetry, painting and music. The music was composed, performed, and directed by Baluji Shrivastav, OBE, with the Inner Vision Orchestra. The performance expresses the impact of vision loss on people’s lives – the common experiences, the emotions felt and the courageous, persistent human response to overcoming the challenges faced.

With Change Makers, our goal is to bring the communities, the experiences, and the challenges experienced by people living with vision loss to the forefront. Ultimately the campaign will recognise individuals who have contributed to the community and we hope that through this activity we will create a platform for solidarity, experience sharing and discussion on eye health.

Join us on our journey as we celebrate Change Makers and drive awareness of the need to do more for people living with vision loss through a series of videos; check out our YouTube channel for audio described options, to ensure community inclusivity.

Learn about the Change Makers campaign, Rachel, Dave and Baluji’s experiences and the inspiration behind their performance.

Published undefined

Explore the artists behind the Change Makers campaign

As an artist who has lost a lot of my sight, I am often asked: How can you still paint? I hope that Change Makers will empower those who similarly are going through the experience of sight loss to know that there is life beyond what is happening to them.
Rachel Gadsden
Visual and performance artist living with visual impairment
Read Rachel’s biography here

Every day I try to write pieces of poetry that help people and support people through the journey of low vision and blindness.
Dave Steele
The Blind Poet, UK
Read Dave’s biography here

What I wanted from the Inner Vision Orchestra was for all the blind people to be able to play with professional musicians on the same level…to prove to all sighted people that we can be independent.
Baluji Shrivastav, OBE
Composer and Director of the Inner Vision Orchestra
Read Baluji’s biography here

The people inspiring our artists

Dave, Rachel and Baluji’s work is inspired by the experiences of Lucero from Mexico who lives with diabetic retinopathy and Thanakorn from Thailand, who lives with a form of age-related macular degeneration. The artists also met with Dr. Nancy M. Holekamp, Director of Retina Services at the Pepose Vision Institute in St. Louis, who shared the science behind retinal conditions, as well as her insights from treating people with visual impairment.

Change makers

Commitment to driving positive change in ophthalmology

At Roche, we are committed to tackling the global challenges associated with vision loss alongside the ophthalmology community. Great advances have been made within the last decade in ophthalmology, but more needs to be done to promote the importance of good eye health, disease prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation for people with vision loss.

Change Makers is about showcasing the impact visual impairment has on people’s lives. Subsequently, we will be focusing on individuals who are driving ground-breaking progress in the field, working hard to make positive change. These are the people living with retinal conditions and their loved ones, scientists, ophthalmologists, patient advocacy leaders, regulators, and anyone else who is impacted by, or working to make positive change to the lives of people living with visual impairment. Join us as we celebrate the Change Makers and drive awareness for the need to do more in this area.


  1. The World Health Organization, Blindness and vision impairment, Factsheet, February 2021: (last accessed 26 August 2021)

  2. Cheloni R, Gandolfi SA, Signorelli C, et al. Global prevalence of diabetic retinopathy: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open. 2019; 9:e022188. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022188.

  3. Wong WL, Su X, Li X et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global Health. 2014; 2(2): e106-e116.

  4. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020. Published online February 16, 2021 (last accessed 26 August 2021)

Visual Library

Discover more

More stories of

See all stories