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Blind Leaders Development Program Welcomes Largest Class Yet

July 1, 2022
The Blind Leaders Development Program was created in 2019 and produced its first graduating class in 2021. Since then, the program has seen a steady rise in both applicants as well as fellows and mentors. The third cohort begins this summer, and the positive results of the program are already being realized. “I see so much promise in this incoming class, our largest group thus far,” said Neva Fairchild, who oversees the program. “The personal and professional growth we expect in each…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Leadership, Employment

AFB Welcomes Howard Sitron as Interim Executive Director

June 21, 2022
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to welcome new Interim Executive Director, Howard Sitron. Mr. Sitron will work with top AFB leadership and stakeholders on the organization’s many ongoing initiatives, such as the advocacy and research of the AFB Public Policy Research Institute, the AFB Blind Leaders Development Program, and the AFB Talent Lab. “I am honored to serve as interim executive director of this renowned and highly impactful organization,” Mr. Sitron said. “I…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Leadership

Innovator and Disability Rights Activist Victoria Watts on Dining With Friends, the Importance of AFB’s Work, and How She Gives Back

June 9, 2022
Victoria Watts is many things – entrepreneur and mother foremost among them. She is also a woman committed to giving back. When her youngest son, Cyrus, was born visually impaired due to a genetic disease known as familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR), Victoria had just launched her eponymous beauty line, VictoriaLand Beauty. As a result, a key component to the entire VictoriaLand Beauty skincare range is the CyR.U.S. System of Raised Universal Symbols, a proprietary tactile…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Personal Reflections

Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

May 19, 2022
Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD)! The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion. From podcasts and blog posts, to inclusive accessibility solutions, public policy, and resources, AFB has you covered. Global accessibility is more than a day for us, it's over 100 years of commitment. AFB Talent Lab The AFB Talent Lab aims to meet the accessibility needs of the tech industry – and millions of people living with…

Student Loan Debt Relief, Public Transportation Funding, and the Paralympics

August 24, 2021
First some good news: U.S. Eliminates Student Loan Debt For Some Borrowers With DisabilitiesNPR, August 19, 2021 "The U.S. Education Department announced Thursday that it is discharging the outstanding student loans of more than 323,000 borrowers who have significant, permanent disabilities, and will remove barriers for borrowers who qualify for this relief in the future. The announcement will erase some $5.8 billion in debt and marks a significant step toward fixing a troubled debt relief…

Neva Fairchild and Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum Discuss Life During the Pandemic in Well+Good Article

August 16, 2021
On August 10, Well+Good, a media company dedicated to health and wellness, published a story titled, “Quarantine Conditions Have Uniquely Impacted People with Visual Impairments – Here’s How.” The story features extensive interviews with AFB Director of Research Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum and National Aging and Vision Loss Specialist Neva Fairchild, drawing upon research from the Flatten Inaccessibility survey results and their own personal experiences to illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics In the News

Rounding up a Busy Week at AFB

July 14, 2021
It is a packed and productive week for the American Foundation for the Blind. We are pleased to announce the launch of the new research study, The Journey Forward: Impact of COVID-19 on Blind, Low Vision, and Deafblind U.S. Adults. We also have several AFB staff experts sitting on interesting and informative panel discussions, and we are now accepting applications for the next cohort of the Blind Leaders Development Program – for both fellows and mentors, to name just a few of the many goings…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Research, Public Policy

Building the Next Generation of Blind Leaders: A Blind Leaders Development Program Roundup

July 2, 2021
Since launching the Blind Leaders Development Program in 2020, we at the American Foundation for the Blind are pleased to have made great strides forward despite the unprecedented challenges of the last year and a half. The inaugural cohort not only successfully navigated the launch of a fledgling program, but did so during the tumultuous period of lockdowns and restrictions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a testament to the professional drive and commitment of these…

What We're Reading: Access to Education, Voting, Local Campaigns, and More

June 17, 2021
The American Foundation for the Blind strives to keep people who are blind or who have low vision and their families up to date on the policy issues that affect us all. Here are a few recent news stories we found particularly noteworthy. After Months Of Special Education Turmoil, Families Say Schools Owe Them—NPR, June 16, 2021 "Roughly 7 million children in the U.S. receive special education services under a decades-old federal law — or did, until the pandemic began. Many of those services…

Introducing ‘Our History’: AFB’s New Historical Timeline

May 6, 2021
As part of the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) year-long centennial celebration, we recently published Our History, a robust new timeline outlining AFB’s past. Lesser-known milestones in advocacy, education, and technological innovation are all chronicled, from the creation of Talking Books in the 1930s, to the first international conference on AIDS-related vision loss in the 1990s, to our most recent work to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults and students who are…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Helen Keller, Reading