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AFB JOURNAL OVISUAL
IMPAIRMENT& BLINDNESS
  
Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss  
 

September 2010 • Volume 104 Number 9

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Editor's Page

Print edition page number(s) 515-515

I am so very pleased to introduce this issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) by acknowledging well-deserved awards that were recently given to two people who are closely associated with the journal. Sandra Lewis, a member of JVIB's Editorial Advisory Board, was honored with the Mary K. Bauman award at the international conference of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). The award was established by AER to honor an individual who has made significant and outstanding contributions on a national or international level to the education of children and youth who are blind or visually impaired.

Another individual I congratulate, because of her incredible behind-the-scenes support of JVIB, is the director and editor in chief of AFB Press, Natalie Hilzen. She was recently honored with AER's C. Warren Bledsoe Award, which is given in recognition of a particularly noteworthy piece of literature in the field of blindness. Although she isn't a "piece of literature," Mrs. Hilzen has, for the past 22 years, been integral to the literature of the field by selecting content experts to write about the important and emerging topics related to blindness and visual impairment across the life span. On behalf of everyone associated with JVIB, I commend Dr. Lewis and Mrs. Hilzen on their receipt of these honors. Well done!

Many of us--whether visually impaired or fully sighted--find ourselves challenged by technology while still experiencing its benefits. It can seem as though every time we find the perfect balance of hardware and software for our computers or other devices, technology manufacturers offer "upgrades" that completely upset the delicate balance that we had achieved. I know I've spent weeks talking or cajoling, screaming or crying with the technology experts as they try to get my newly configured system up and running at least as well as the technology if replaced. Although the experience of frustration is common among nonexpert users of technology, people with visual impairments who need adaptations to make technology accessible are faced with additional delays and hurdles to get their technology to function in the most optimal way. On a positive note, several articles in this September issue present the optimistic viewpoint that technology can continue to present opportunities and improve our lives, regardless of our visual status.

The issue begins with a series of short pieces on technology, including the concept of a car that can be driven by a blind person, and the use of technology to increase employment opportunities for people with visual impairments. In the latest installment of "Practice Perspectives," staff members from the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind describe an innovative program that teaches students to use MIDI software for music production and sound engineering as a marketable skill.

Returning to a more traditional topic, the braille code continues to be a controversial issue for those in the know. Rosenblum, Lewis, and D'Andrea present the results of a survey of university instructors in their article on the requirements of braille literacy courses across the United States. Holbrook and MacCuspie study the utility of Unified English Braille for people who work in technology or science and present the results of field testing with several employed visually impaired professionals.

Other articles and reports in this issue examine the perceptions of Anglo and Latino parents of young children with visual impairments in the United States, explore the alcohol use of German adolescents with and without visual impairments, describe inclusive education in Spain, and study the mental rotation abilities of individuals with visual impairments in Greece.

Finally, becoming comfortable with the technology required to access JVIB Online now has an added benefit: Starting this summer, two articles in every issue of JVIB now include online quizzes. Answer enough questions correctly and earn continuing education units from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals. Learn more at: <www.jvib.org/CEUs>.

Duane R. Geruschat , Ph.D.
Editor in Chief


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