Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB eNews

July 2011

AFB Announces Call for Nominations for 2011 Migel Medals

AFB is now accepting nominations for the 2012 Migel Medals, the highest honor in the blindness field. The Migel Medal was established in 1937 by the late M.C. Migel, the first chairperson of AFB, to honor professionals and volunteers whose dedication and achievements have significantly improved the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.

Professional Award nominees should be those whose career work has significantly affected services to people with vision loss on a national level. Prospective candidates include, but are not limited to, professionals with specific training and expertise in education, rehabilitation, assistive technology, vision rehabilitation, personnel preparation, administration, or related fields. They may work in the public or private sector and their work should span several years.

Lay Volunteer Award nominees may be volunteers or professionals not employed within the blindness and visual impairment field whose efforts have supported or extended service to people with vision loss. Professionals from other disciplines may include, but are not limited to, those who develop assistive technology equipment and software, health care devices, and improved medical services.

Nominations for AFB's Migel Medals are due by Monday, September 30 , 2011, and should be e-mailed to Pris Rogers, Senior Site Program Manager, AFB Center on Vision Loss, at or to Ike Presley, Project Manager, Professional Development, at Nominators should send a one-page description of the nominee and his/her accomplishments, or fill out the online nomination form at

News and Announcements

AFB Celebrates Its 90th Year
The American Foundation for the Blind celebrated its 90th anniversary on June 28, marking an impressive track record for setting standards and achieving milestones to improve the quality of life for people with vision loss.

Ninety years ago, a resolution was passed by the American Association of Workers for the Blind to create "...a central organization to cooperate with and supplement the work of existing agencies in work for the blind..." In the intervening decades, AFB has become a leading organization for people who are blind or visually impaired by advocating for their rights and interests, broadening access to technology, promoting and facilitating independent living and elevating the quality of information and tools available for families and professionals.

AFB Receives a 2011 Computerworld Honors Laureate Medal
AFB received a laureate medal in the 2011 Computerworld Honors Program. AFB was nominated by ActionPacked! Networks for its work to provide continuity of service to constituents by employing the latest in information technology solutions. Kelly Bleach, AFB's chief administrative officer, accepted the medal at an awards ceremony at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

AFB CAO Kelly Bleach and AFB VP Paul Schroeder at the 2011 Computerworld Honors Gala

AFB Press, Chicago Lighthouse Announce New Collaboration
AFB Press and the Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired are collaborating on a new book that deals with vision loss in later life, Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: Personal and Professional Perspectives on Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Part 1 of Out of Sight, written by 93-year-old Lindy Bergman, illustrates the ways in which life with low vision can be lived with independence, dignity, and personal satisfaction. Part 2 includes discussions of various aspects of macular degeneration and low-vision service delivery, written by world-renowned experts from Chicago Lighthouse.

The book will also feature a foreword by Jonathan Safran Foer, the award-winning author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and an introduction by Janet P. Szlyk, Ph.D., the president and executive director of Chicago Lighthouse. The book is edited by Jennifer E. Miller, Esq.

AFB eLearning Offers a New Webinar Course on Management of Foot Disorders Related to Diabetes
The AFB eLearning Center on Aging and Visual Impairment is offering a new webinar entitled "Management of Foot Disorders Related to Diabetes." The webinar has been recorded and is available for purchase in AFB's online bookstore. This course consists of a recorded lecture and has a written transcript and a PowerPoint presentation.

This webinar course has been approved for 1 hour of CEU credit for ACVREP and for 1 hour for CRCC.

AFB Senior Site Offers Home Repair Tips
Gil Johnson, a retiree from AFB, has written a number of how-to articles in Gil's Guide to Home Repair. Check out his articles on:

  • changing light bulbs
  • fuses and circuit breakers
  • faucet washer repair
  • replacing batteries
  • unclogging stopped drains
  • installing ceiling fans
  • fixing toilets
  • replacing light switches

Readers with questions may also e-mail Gil for advice at

Judy Scott, Director of AFB's Center on Vision Loss, Honored
Judy Scott was honored as a Kappa Delta Woman of Achievement at Kappa Delta's 59th Biennial Convention in Tucson, AZ, held July 2. Established in 1989, Kappa Delta's Women of Achievement award recognizes those members who have made exceptional achievements in career or community.

AFB Welcomes Two New Trustees to Its Board
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced the election of two new distinguished board members: Elcio Barcelos, vice president at Hewlett-Packard, and Susan W. Mink, executive vice president of human resources at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The members were elected during the June 2011 Board of Trustees meeting.

Elcio Barcelos leads the global staffing organizations at Hewlett-Packard. He is responsible for defining and delivering all global recruiting and workforce management solutions that align with and contribute to the organization's success. Barcelos has proudly served on many non-profit and community advisory boards, and is currently a member of the National Employment Center Board for the American Foundation for the Blind. Barcelos holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Santo Amaro in São Paulo, Brazil.

Susan W. Mink is the executive vice president of the Human Resources Group at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Mink served on the 2 Tudor City Co-op Board for 10 years, including two years as president. She also served on the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels of Greenville, SC, and on the Board of Diffinity, Inc. Mink received her bachelor's degree in History and Russian Area Studies from Pennsylvania State University.

From the AFB Blogs

CareerConnect® Mentor on ABC's Expedition Impossible
Erik Weihenmayer is a CareerConnect mentor, as well as the author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See. A former middle school teacher turned motivational speaker, and the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, Erik is starring in ABC's Expedition Impossible. You can catch the show Thursday nights at 9 EST and you can read his first-hand accounts on the AFB Blog and on Erik's website.

Dr. Kay Alicyn Ferrell Answers Family Questions on FamilyConnect®'s Ask the Expert Blog
Dr. Ferrell personally responded to questions posted on FamilyConnect's Ask the Expert blog during a one-of-a-kind opportunity to give families the chance to have their questions and concerns addressed by a top expert, in a forum that will share helpful answers with FamilyConnect members, other families, and professionals.

In addition, Dr. Ferrell answered questions about her newest book, Reach Out and Teach: Helping Your Young Child Who is Visually Impaired Learn and Grow. This resource for parents of children with visual and other impairments and the professionals who work with them provides information and strategies to promote child development from birth to school age.

Reach Out and Teach is currently available from the AFB Press bookstore at a special 10% discount by using the coupon code FC2011.

services icon Directory of Services

Join Our Mission

Help us expand our resources for people with vision loss.