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

February 2011 • Volume 105 Number 2

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Editor's Page

Print edition page number(s) 67-67

It is a new year, and we at the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) have entered the age of social media by joining the 600 million individuals around the world who connect everyday through Facebook. Visit <http://www.facebook.com/myJVIB> to see the most modern face of the journal. Those readers who are already part of the Facebook community may simply type JVIB in the Facebook search box to locate our page and "like" us, thus becoming our "friend," and gaining access to exclusive information and contests and, of course, fellow readers. We promise not to overwhelm our friends with mundane status updates, but instead to provide readers a new way to interact with the journal and hear exciting and important information about their field. For anyone who has been wondering what Facebook is all about, this is a chance to find out it's easy to join and become a member of the JVIB community. Readers and nonreaders, subscribers and nonsubscribers, researchers, practitioners, teachers, parents, and students are all welcome to join us.

This month, JVIB fulfills its mission as a forum for the discussing of ideas and the airing of controversies with a series of Letters to the Editor. Stimulated by commentary included in the October 2010 Special Issue on Vision and the Brain, James Jan, a preeminent ophthalmologist and scientist, questions the use of the terms cerebral visual impairment and cortical visual impairment (CVI). He argues that the two terms are not interchangeable. The guest editors of the special issue, Greg Goodrich and Amanda Hall Lueck, and August Colenbrander, who wrote a Comment on terminology, offer responses to Jan's letter. Although this sort of dialogue may feel a bit disconnected for readers who work directly with children and adults with such conditions, the evolution of terminology is actually an important metric for evaluating the advancement of a profession. As more children and adults with brain damage-related vision loss enter our clinics and classrooms, will become more important to accurately characterize the conditions of these individuals and to define who among them are or are not eligible for rehabilitative services and what those services should encompass. The language we use to describe individuals with brain damage-related vision loss will, therefore, affect such direct-service decisions.

As always, this month's issue also features the highest quality research in the field of visual impairment and blindness. The lead article surveys 256 articles--research literature published over a time period of more than 40 years--on assistive technology and its impact on the educational performance of students. Kelly and Smith found that only two articles out of all those studied included so-called evidence-based practices.

Social skills development has long been a focus of classroom teachers and other professionals who interact with children and youths with visual impairments and their parents. Zebehazy and Smith investigate factors related to social skills and explore the relationship between these key factors and their subjects' scores on an instrument designed to rate their mastery of social skills. Read the article to discover the factors that related to the highest scores. Pinquart and Pfeiffer, authors from Germany, examine the role of parental overprotection and its relationship to the extroversion and peer relationship forming-abilities of more than 300 adolescents with and without visual impairments.

Finally, KesiktaƟ and Akcamete study the relationship between personnel preparation programs and the competence of teachers in Turkey.

I hope, with this issue of JVIB, you find something that raises your consciousness, piques your interest, and perhaps inspires you to write your own Letter to the Editor. If not a formal letter, I invite you to utilize JVIB Online's comment-on-this-article feature or the wall of JVIB's new Facebook page to tell us what you thought of the contents of this month's issue.

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


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