**Attention, All Aging and Vision Loss Advocates!

AFB to Bring the Field Together for a National Conversation:
Launching a 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss**

An AFB-Sponsored Free Teleconference

  • Thursday, May 5, 2016, 2:30 p.m., Eastern
  • RSVP to:
    Sarah Malaier
    AFB Programs and Policy Coordinator

AFB-DirectConnect Newsletter, Published 4/4/2016

Dear Advocates for Older Americans Living with Vision Loss:

At the recent AFB Leadership Conference held in Arlington, Virginia, many current and emerging leaders from across the vision loss community met to consider the need for a national strategy and action plan concerning aging and vision loss, modeled upon previous work that AFB coordinated for our field some twenty years ago. The responses from participants in the discussion were overwhelmingly in favor of embarking upon this critical work and to renew our efforts to meet the unique and unmet needs of older Americans living with vision loss.

We are therefore writing to invite you and other interested individuals to join the national dialogue and to take part in this initiative as an active participant.

AFB will be hosting a teleconference call to broaden input from across our field to reach consensus around the key goals of a 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss and to begin to organize our work together.

You are invited to join the first teleconference for this initiative on Thursday afternoon, May 5, 2016, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern. There is no cost to join the conversation. Please come with your ideas and your commitment to work collaboratively with us as we chart a future course for this critical initiative.

To RSVP, send an email to Sarah Malaier, AFB’s Programs and Policy Coordinator, at SMalaier@afb.net. Simply indicate in your message that you would like to participate in the May 5 teleconference call concerning the 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss. Instructions for dialing into the conference call will be sent well in advance of the May 5 teleconference to all those who RSVP.

It is appropriate to launch our agenda during the first week of Older Americans Month, the theme of which is to “ Blaze a Trail” and to raise awareness about issues facing older adults.

To learn more about “Blazing a Trail” – visit the Administration for Community Living’s website at http://oam.acl.gov/

During our May 5 conversation, we will explore organizing our work together around four principal goals:

  • Funding for services;
  • Public awareness;
  • Ensuring availability and quality of professional services; and
  • Collaboration/coordination across service delivery systems to maximize resources for tackling critical needs (e.g., transportation, employment, etc).

You may believe that these goals need to be further refined, that we should address additional goals, and/or that we should make certain goals a more immediate priority. We are very much looking forward to hearing from all audiences and perspectives as we take these first critical steps together.

Even if you are unable to participate in the May 5 discussion, please email Sarah Malaier (smalaier@afb.net) if you would like to actively participate in future meetings and to actively contribute your time and energy to work on the 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss.

Our May 5 teleconference will be recorded, and we will work with you to make it available to you if you are not able to join the conversation that day.

Thank you so much for considering our invitation and, as always, for your commitment to people with vision loss. We hope to have you join us on Thursday, May 5, and we are very excited about getting started and working with you.


Pris Rogers, Ph.D.
Program Manager, VisionAware

Rebecca Sheffield, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Researcher

Mark Richert, Esq.
Director, Public Policy