- Leader and deafblind advocate Robert J. Smithdas has died
A leader and advocate in the area of deafblindness, who worked with Helen Keller herself to amend legislation that led to the opening of the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, has died.
- State agency and university collaborate to help students with visual impairments make the transition to higher education
For the first time, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services' Summer Academy will be held at a university, thus allowing high school-aged participants with visual impairments the "life-changing" experiences of sleeping in college dormitories, navigating the campus and surrounding areas, washing their own laundry, cooking their own meals, and using assistive technology to take notes while auditing college classes.
- Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired to honor five individuals and one chapter at its international conference
A number of individuals and one association chapter in the field of visual impairment and blindness will be honored as part of the biennial Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) awards program. The awardees will be honored at a luncheon on August 1st at the 2014 AER International Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
- Pioneer in assistive technology and technology training has died
Passionate about empowering individuals who are blind or have low vision and the organizations that employ them, John Cornelius De Witt spent his career training people with visual impairments, as well as individuals who have learning disabilities, to become "equally skilled as their peers" in reading, writing, and communicating using modern computer-based products.
- New simulator to evaluate the effects of visual impairment on driving
The University of California–San Diego (UC San Diego) School of Medicine is the first ophthalmology department in the United States to feature a realistic driving simulator for evaluating the effects of visual impairment on a person's driving performance. (This News From the Field item includes a link to the blog, "New Research: An Innovative Simulator Evaluates Eye Diseases and Driving Performance.")
- AFB Offers New and Expanded Free Apps to Help People with Vision Loss
NEW YORK (June 25, 2014)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today launched the all-new CareerConnect App, a tool for professionals, job seekers, parents and youth, and announced that AccessNote™, a specialized notetaker for people who are visually impaired, will soon be available for use on Android devices. Thanks to generous support from funders, AFB is making AccessNote™ (formerly $19.99 in the Apple App Store) available free of charge.
- Tell Congress It's Time for Medicare to Cover Low Vision Devices Now!
Recently, AFB called upon organizations from throughout the vision loss community to formally endorse a petition to Congress urging law makers to extend Medicare coverage to low vision devices. The response has been overwhelming, and groups continue to voice their support. But we also heard from many individuals from around the country asking for the opportunity to participate. Now you can!
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- AFB Announces 2014 Helen Keller Achievement Awardees
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has announced the recipients of its prestigious Helen Keller Achievement Awards that will be held in New York City on June 17th. The awards will be presented to Christine Ha, Winner of U.S. MasterChef Season 3, AT&T, and Genentech for their extraordinary efforts to improve quality of life for people with vision loss.