Print edition page number(s) 451-451
As I was preparing to write the editorial for the August 2012 issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB), I received an e-mail from the main office of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). The message was sent to all members of AER, and it announced that JVIB would become the official journal of AER starting January 2013. Welcome news, indeed! Hats off to the leadership of AER and the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) for working together to form this important partnership!
I have been a member of AER, and its predecessor the American Association of Workers for the Blind (AAWB), since 1976, and the editor in chief of JVIB since 2005, so I am in the unique position of having experiences as a member of the international professional organization of the field of visual impairment and blindness, as well as the editor in chief of the leading international professional journal of record for the field. As such, I can confidently say that nearly every important idea and significant research study in the field of visual impairment and blindness eventually makes its way onto the pages of JVIB. Likewise, nearly every individual involved in setting policies or agendas related to visual impairment, modifying legislation to benefit individuals with visual impairments, or providing presentations on the latest and most innovative approaches to serving individuals with visual impairments are members of AER. Now that AFB and AER have joined forces, both organizations are stronger, and we are all winners.
In my editorials over the years, I have often remarked on the mixed bag of topics covered in a given issue. Just as JVIB's authors and peer reviewers specialize in countless areas of research and practice, so too does the membership of AER represent every profession, topic, and age group related to visual impairment. From braille instructors to low vision therapists, rehabilitation counselors who provide advice on everything from transition services to adaptive technology, early interventionists who work with preschool children to ophthalmologists who serve veterans, AER members are hard at work in the field of visual impairment and can benefit from the research and practice included in the journal.
As I compare the program for the recent AER International Conference in Bellevue, Washington, with the August issue of JVIB, the image that comes to mind is a hand in a perfectly fitted glove. AER featured many presentations on braille. Likewise, the August issue of JVIB has two articles on braille. One from Norway describes a study on children who read braille and their understanding of shape and space, and the second provides an assessment of adult students who read braille. In addition, AER had a number of presentations on transition and employment, and this month's issue of JVIB includes a paper on vocational rehabilitation outcomes.
As a member, my belief is that the strength of AER lies in the diversity of interests among its members; as editor in chief, I affirm that the strength of JVIB is its ability to attract authors from around the world who spend their time writing on research and practice related to topics that address the interests of AER's diverse membership.
JVIB becoming the official journal of AER in 2013 is one of the best things I have heard in a long time. I have always felt that AER and JVIB should be viewed as supports for each other, and I am certain that working together will make both entities stronger. I know I am repeating myself, but it deserves being repeated: Hats off to the leaders of both organizations for making this happen!
Editor in Chief
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