National Guide Dog Month: Personal Reminiscences in Celebration of Guide Dogs

September 29, 2023
Aaron Preece with his black lab guide dog, Dunsmuir.
Since they saw mainstream adoption in the early 20th century, guide dogs have changed the navigational landscape for many people who are blind or low vision and served as a positive symbol of independence to society at large. To celebrate this National Guide Dog Month, I wanted to share some of my personal journey working with guide dogs over the past 12 years. Even though everyone's reasoning for choosing to partner with a guide dog is different, it has been an incredible experience for me…

How to be Authentically Accepted Without Needing to Perform: What Educators of Blind Children Can Learn from the Autistic Community

September 20, 2023
In a recent issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB), Valérie Caron and colleagues published a systematic review of research on “social skills interventions” for kids who are blind or have low vision, entitled “Teaching social skills to children and adolescents with visual impairments: A systematic review.” The review included 32 studies conducted in 8 countries, and the authors generally concluded that explicit instruction can increase students’ demonstrated performance…
Blog Topics Social Skills

Driving Forward the ADA for Digital Inclusion

July 26, 2023
On this 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we at AFB are thinking of all the ways that technology plays in role in meeting the expectations of this valuable and groundbreaking civil rights legislation. Thanks to the ADA, we have come to expect equality and access in every part of public life. Truly, people who are blind or have low vision have greater access to jobs, businesses, life in the community, and government services because the ADA prohibits discrimination…

Introspection during Disability Pride Month

July 24, 2023
Since 2015, we celebrate Disability Pride Month each July in honor of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which was passed in 1990. For anyone unfamiliar with me, I'm Aaron Preece, editor of AFB's AccessWorld Technology and Digital Inclusion publication. I have severe low vision due to a degenerative retinal condition. For context, I primarily function as blind, e.g., using a screen reader and am not able to get any use out of magnification. When I was considering…

No Limits Matching Campaign

June 29, 2023
Since the onset of the pandemic, so much of our experience has been lived behind the mobile screen in our hands or the keyboard at our desks — from ordering groceries online to scheduling a medical appointment to making online banking transactions. However, in a country where as many as 30 million of us are blind or have low vision, an issue that negatively affects millions of people each day in the United States continues to be ignored. While the internet has connected us all in recent…
Blog Topics

Walking in Helen’s Footsteps

June 27, 2023
Mellissa Vail, Peter J. Salmon, Helen Keller and Polly Thomson are standing together. Keller is about to cut a decorated two-tiered cake that is on the table infront of them.
Today marks the 143rd birthday of Helen Keller, who remains one of the great icons of inspiration in American history. As we take time to remember Helen’s impact on the world, we want to draw attention to those who walked alongside her during her life. It’s in their stories that Helen’s greatness truly comes to light, and we’re reminded that we’re strongest when we’re not alone. 65th birthday celebration for Helen Keller at the Brooklyn Industrial Home for the Blind, Brooklyn, NY. Left to…
Blog Topics Helen Keller

Retracing Our Roots: A Reminder to the Significance of Memorial Day for the Blind

May 26, 2023
For many Americans, this long-weekend marks the beginning of summer, when families across the country dust off their coolers and unpack their beach chairs from winter storage. But, as families make their way to the shore or their local park, it’s important to pause and remind ourselves of the significance this holiday plays in our freedom and independence, particularly for those within the blindness field. At the American Foundation for the Blind, our own history is steeped in the sacrifices…
Blog Topics Helen Keller

DOJ and OCR issue Joint Dear Colleague Letter on Collegiate Digital Accessibility

May 24, 2023
On Friday, May 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Joint Dear Colleague Letter on the participation of people with disabilities in online activities made available by colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions. The accessibility of online education has been a major focus for AFB’s Public Policy and Research Institute since the pandemic expedited the adoption of educational technologies…
Author Sarah Malaier
Blog Topics Education, Public Policy

Updates and Action from AFB on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 17, 2023
Each year, the third Thursday of the month marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This year, on May 18th, the American Foundation for the Blind wanted to share some updates and actions we can all take to help make the world more inclusive online for people with disabilities. Since developer Joe Devon first posed the concept of a day dedicated to expanding awareness in late 2011, we have seen a continuous uptick in the participation #GAAD garners each year. Now in its 12th year, it’s been…

AFB Celebrates Successful Completion of the Blind Leaders 3rd Cohort

May 4, 2023
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) celebrated on Tuesday, May 2nd, the completion of the third cohort of fellows in the Blind Leaders Development Program. The special evening event brought together participants, along with family and friends, who gathered together virtually from across the country. The third cohort of AFB Blind Leaders Fellows spent the past ten months immersed in The Leadership Challenge, an engaging professional development curriculum designed to bolster confidence…
Blog Topics Leadership