Mark Richert, AFB's Director of Public Policy
These are challenging times for America, and it's more important than ever that we each get involved in our own way and make our voices heard. On behalf of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), I would like to invite you to be part of a dynamic community of advocates who have a passion for systems change and for improving the lives of individuals living with vision loss by joining AFB's Advocacy Network.
The concept here is very simple. We want to reach out directly to people in our community—just like you—to inform you about specific ways you can take action to defend and promote the rights, needs, and capabilities of individuals who are living with vision loss. By agreeing to participate in AFB's Advocacy Network, you are letting us know that you’re willing to make contact with policy makers, their staff, and other influencers. As part of the Network, you'll get all the details and resources you'll need to effectively advocate for the issues we all care most about, and we'll offer you as much assistance in making your voice heard as you need or want.
After a quarter century of professional public policy work on behalf of all people who are blind or visually impaired, I know with absolute certainty that it is still true that one person can make a difference. The worst thing any of us can do is give into the temptation to be cynical about the policy process and to feel that there's nothing that any of us can do to make things happen. You can make a difference, and we want to work with you to get it done.
Whether you choose to participate in the Network or not, we invite you to subscribe to our public policy and research newsletter, AFB DirectConnect, so that you can stay in tune with the latest developments in Washington and across the country concerning the rights, programs, and services we all care about.
Together, we can protect the civil rights of people with vision loss and fight for funding and resources for quality rehabilitative services enabling people to live, work, and play confidently and independently.
We can fight the good fight for independent living services, funding for key programs, quality professional services meeting unique needs, and the tools, transportation, and technologies that can make all the difference in the world for adults who are losing their sight.
And, we can advocate for legislation like the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act—which will make sure that students who are blind, visually impaired, or deafblind get the education they need once they get in the schoolhouse door.
I hope you'll join us in this important work. No one else will do this work for us. It's up to us to make the difference we seek. As Helen Keller said, "Together, we can do so much."