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

March 2011 • Volume 105 Number 3

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Editor's Page

Print edition page number(s) 131-131

When we celebrated the journal's centennial a few years ago, I had the pleasure of spending time in the library at the American Foundation for the Blind's headquarters in New York going through 100 years of JVIB and its predecessors, Outlook for the Blind and New Outlook for the Blind. I recall, as if it were yesterday, holding and then reading the first volume of the journal. As I leafed through its dusty pages, I quickly realized that the information published in the first 15 to 20 years of the journal's existence was dominated by a combination of information you might find in a travel guide (such as architecture, food, and clothing) and descriptions of educational and rehabilitation programs in various parts of the world. In its early years, JVIB provided readers the rare chance to learn about best practices around the globe. This was no small feat when you consider that in 1907, to travel from one continent to another meant weeks or months at sea followed by arduous travel overland to visit schools for blind students and adult rehabilitation programs. Reading the journal, even 100 years later, I learned a lot about programs from those times and I enjoyed the insights into other cultures the journal provided. Although we can now fly to the other side of the world in 24 hours, and the Internet connects us almost instantaneously regardless of distance, there is still a place in JVIB for descriptions of techniques that are unique to a specific culture. An Around the World in this month's issue provides a fascinating description of how fingerbraille, a technique for communicating with individuals who are deaf-blind, is used in Japan. I have observed finger-spelling in the hand, printing on palm, and tactile signing, but the approach described in Lamichhane's article is new to me. I valued reading about a new approach that may have application in other countries, as well as the author's acknowledgement that individual differences may result in different approaches for different clients rather than one-size-fits-all approach.

At times we go months without publishing any Letters to the Editor. Sometimes one letter generates another, followed by a response. In this issue are a number of letters, several of which were sparked by the previous exchange about the 2010 Special Issue on Vision and the Brain. The first is a response by Gordon Dutton to the letter written by James Jan that was published in February 2011 on the use of the term cortical visual impairment versus cerebral visual impairment. Dr. Dutton, an ophthalmologist who is actively involved with the advancement of our understanding and awareness about brain injury-related vision loss provides his point of view. A letter by Stuart Wittenstein follows, in which he raises concerns about two authors' use of the term segregated to described specialized schools in Germany. Pinquart and Pfeiffer's response to Wittenstein's letter also appears in this issue. As always, readers are invited to share their thoughts on what they read in JVIB by writing a Letter to the Editor.

The year's first Practice Perspectives column and the lead article that follows it are dedicated to all those instructors who are constantly searching for new methods to teach braille reading in their classrooms. Practice Editor Jane Erin introduces the work of two teachers who have successfully applied Diane Wormsely's Meaning-centered Approach to Braille Literacy. Following the practice column is an article by Dr. Wormsley, whose research supports the approach applied by these teachers. Connecting theory to practice is the ultimate goal of research. I hope you see this connection even more clearly after reading these two pieces.

Whether you read JVIB for the commentary, cutting-edge research, or instructional tips you can apply to your own practice, there is something for you in this issue. Enjoy the read.

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


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