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How Many Braille Readers Are There?

March 23, 2022
Why We Should Question What We Have Been Led to Believe “To know that one knows what one knows, and to know that one doesn't know what one doesn't know, there lies true wisdom.” —Confucius When we read a statistic about blindness or low vision in the news media, how often do we think about the source of that data? Does it come from a census? A survey? An estimate? How recent are the data behind the statistics? For Rebecca Sheffield, Frances Mary (F.M.) D’Andrea, and Valerie Morash, a…

Thank You to Everyone Who Participated in the Cogswell-Macy Act Hill Day, 2018

March 4, 2018
The Cogswell-Macy Act Hill Day, February 28, 2018, was an activity of Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), the American Foundation for the Blind, National Association of the Deaf, and other advocacy partners. Our heartfelt thanks go to Barbara Raimondo, Executive Director of CEASD, who helped us coordinate the registration process with participants from schools for the Deaf and other advocacy groups in the Deaf/hard-of-hearing (DHH) community.…

A Great Day of Education and Advocacy at Gallaudet

March 1, 2018
This week, AFB participated in a first-of-its-kind event with students, professionals, and advocates from all three sensory disability communities—blindness and visual impairment, deafness and hard-of-hearing, and deafblindness. The event was the result of excellent partnership with many groups coming together over several months to plan an informative, accessible, interactive event. Accessibility was everywhere! ASL interpreters, tactile ASL interpreters, pro-tactile support, braille, large…

AFB's Public Policy Center in Washington, DC, Bids Adieu to Summer Interns

July 20, 2017
The American Foundation for the Blind's DC office has been very fortunate to have shared our summer with several fantastic interns! Today is the last day of Ms. Ann Pilewskie's internship—please join us in wishing her well as she returns to continue her Ph.D. studies at "the" Ohio State University! Over the past two months, Ann has shared her experience and expertise in transition and supports for young adults (especially those with multiple disabilities)—she is a passionate advocate for the…

AFB Joins Coalition Urging Careful Use of Data in Disability Stories

April 20, 2017
Recently, the Washington Post discussed Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in both a headline story and a Sunday editorial. The article and editorial drew pessimistic conclusions based upon selective interviews as well as analysis of data from the Social Security Administration SSDI and SSI Annual Reports. On April 13, the Talk Poverty website, run by the Center for American Progress, published a strong statement about the Post’s use of…

Be a Part of Cogswell-Macy Act Hill Day: A Bipartisan Bill to Transform Special Education for Students with Sensory Disabilities

February 27, 2017
On Wednesday, March 1, more than 120 advocates for children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind will visit congressional offices in Washington, D.C., sharing their stories and asking our new Congress to rally behind students with sensory disabilities in support of the newly reintroduced Cogswell-Macy Act. "This bipartisan bill will help the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) keep its promise of a free and appropriate education for all…

Let's Go Vote! What to Do if You Encounter Problems at the Polls as a Blind Voter

October 31, 2016
It's almost Election Day. People with vision loss can have the greatest impact when everyone takes action, registers, and votes—whether voting early, absentee, or on Election Day, November 8th! First equip yourself by knowing your rights, and the potential impact of voters in the disability community (which outnumbers eligible African American voters and eligible Latino voters). Then, it's time to go vote! Make Sure You're Registered to Vote One easy place to get registered is at vote.org—…

ALERT!—Historic Bill Breaks Down Braille Barriers for All!

April 1, 2015
BLINK Act on Fast Track for Congressional Action! In a surprise move early this morning, key leaders in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have reached bipartisan agreement on brand new landmark legislation requiring all sighted students across America to exclusively learn and use braille. The bill, entitled the Braille Literacy Is Necessary Knowledge (BLINK) Act, was only introduced late last evening in an attempt by the bill’s champions to thwart mobilized opposition by…

Get to Know the DataFerrett! The Census Bureau and AFB's Webinar March 26th

March 16, 2015
Last month, the AFB Policy Center ramped up our focus on demographics and data with two exciting projects: our Research Navigator edition, “Just how many blind folks are there anyway?”, in collaboration with the Census Bureau, we presented the first in a series of webinars about exploring existing population data in the field of vision loss (Measuring America: An Overview on Vision Disability Statistics). This month we're pleased to continue this webinar series with a special training on…

Diving for Data: Finding the Numbers We Need in a Sea of Statistics

February 5, 2015
Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More! As we begin 2015, the AFB Policy Center has jumped feet-first into the wide (and deep!) world of demographics and data. Hopefully you saw the latest edition of the Research Navigator, “Just how many blind folks are there anyway?,” where we tackled seemingly simple (but actually very complicated) questions about population and demographic statistics for adults who are blind or visually impaired. We have been in touch with the Centers for Disease Control…