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

Happy Birthday to Helen Keller

June 27, 2022
Today marks the 142nd birthday of Helen Keller! Helen paved the way for so many of us to follow in her example of innovation, courage, and advocacy. When Helen joined AFB in 1924, her work led to state commissions for the blind, funding for rehabilitation centers, and increased access to education for students who are blind or have low vision. The Helen Keller Archive contains over 475 speeches and essays that she wrote on topics as varied as faith, blindness prevention, women's rights,…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller

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

Post-AFB Leadership Conference Thoughts: Blind Leaders Development Program Challenges and Rewards, Part 2

June 10, 2022
[Editor’s Note: The following post comes from Chris Fendrick, a fellow in the Centennial Cohort of the Blind Leaders Development Program, and the second of a two-parter. His first entry describes the program; Part 2 recaps the AFB Leadership Conference.] The in-person Leadership Challenge aspect of the program began in earnest as we convened in Arlington, VA, in advance of the AFB Leadership Conference. My colleague, Ken Meeker, spoke for many of us, noting that it was a transformative…

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

Post-AFB Leadership Conference Thoughts: Blind Leaders Development Program Challenges and Rewards

June 7, 2022
[Editor’s Note: The following post comes from Chris Fendrick, a fellow in the Centennial Cohort of the Blind Leaders Development Program, and is Part 1 of a two-parter.] This last year I was fortunate to be chosen as a Fellow in the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Blind Leaders Development Program. This unique program in the blindness community was an opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. As a teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) I have had the…

Post-AFB Leadership Conference Thoughts: Mentoring in the Blind Leaders Development Program

May 27, 2022
[Editor’s Note: The following post comes from Laurie Alice Eakes, a mentor in the Centennial Cohort of the Blind Leaders Development Program.] I perch on the edge of my chair, fingers poised on my keyboard. I’m ready to take notes between yawns from too little sleep and coffee. The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has invested considerable resources in my presence in this room, and I am determined I won’t waste it, even if, so far, I’ve been leaning more toward the attitude, “What can…

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…

Journey Forward Study Exposes Issues, Suggests Solutions, in Ongoing Pandemic Society

May 11, 2022
As we pass the two-year mark since the start of COVID-19 restrictions, the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) recently released study, The Journey Forward: Impact of COVID-19 on Blind, Low Vision, and Deafblind U.S. Adults, captures reflections on experiences during a year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Summer of 2021. Although the data gathered from the 488 survey participants revealed challenges specific to COVID-19, it also provided insights into the systemic issues…

Thank You for Attending #AFBLC22!

May 6, 2022
On behalf of the entire American Foundation for the Blind team, I want to thank attendees, presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors for joining us at the 2022 AFB Leadership Conference. It was so wonderful to connect with almost 300 people in person. It was an inspiring, informative, and engaging time of learning and networking. Our 2022 conference theme of Inclusion at Work was obvious throughout all of the wonderful keynotes, panels, and breakouts. What an amazing and energizing program. The “…