WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 28, 2022)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced its Digital Inclusion Toolkits, a set of free resources to create, encourage, and advocate for more digitally inclusive classrooms.

Designed for school administrators, teachers, families, and blind or low vision students, the toolkits include planning tools for educators and administrators; information and resources for families and students with visual impairments designed to help them connect with others; advocacy tips; and lists of support organizations, hotlines, and other helpful resources.

The toolkits were created following the findings of AFB’s third Access and Engagement research report (June 2022), which examined the continued negative impact of systemic and COVID-19–specific issues on the education of students who are blind or have low vision.

Teachers and parents alike struggled with access to remote learning tools during COVID-19. “Nearly all the platforms districts and teachers are using to provide instruction are inaccessible. I don’t think they have the slightest clue of where to begin,” said one educator. While one family member of a teenage blind student said, “programs were not set up for a screen reader and had videos that were not audio described,” but when they spoke with the schools’ information technology department about accessibility issues, “they were told they couldn’t implement them.” 

“COVID-19 had, and will continue to have, a negative impact on students who are blind or have low vision, including those with additional disabilities, and their families,” said Arielle Silverman, Ph.D., AFB Director of Research. “Our free toolkits include a bevy of resources and information to give schools, families, and students alike, the information, support, resources, and connection opportunities needed, to encourage their educational success and ensure no student is left behind.”

A complete list of resources in the digital inclusion toolkit for schools, families, and students, can be found here and includes:

Toolkit for Administrators

Toolkit for Teachers

Toolkit for Students

Toolkit for Families

Toolkit for Vision Professionals

To access the free resources and learn more about the research findings, please visit https://www.afb.org/AE3/toolkits.

About the American Foundation for the Blind

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. Publisher of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness for over a century and counting, AFB is also proud to steward the accessible Helen Keller Archive, honoring the legacy of our most famous ambassador. AFB’s mission is to expand pathways to leadership, education, inclusive technology, and career opportunities to create a world of no limits for people who are blind, deafblind, or have low vision. To learn more, visit www.afb.org.