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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB eNews

May 2009

AFB Consulting Launches New Program

Logo: AAP Accessibility Assurance Program

What's the best way to make products and web sites accessible to the 54 million Americans with disabilities, including the 20 million with vision loss? Ask them what they want! People are readily available to tell you what does and does not work for them, and companies can use this information to create more accessible web sites.

This is the driving force behind AFB's new Accessibility Assurance™ Program (AAP). Created by AFB Consulting, the AAP enables any company or organization to make its web site(s) more accessible to people with disabilities. The unique approach of the program helps organizations demonstrate their corporate values, better serve their user community, and provide a constructive channel for converting user feedback (or complaints) into accessibility solutions.

The AAP allows companies to give the following three "assurances" to customers:

  • We will enable consumers with disabilities to use our web site(s) by applying accessible design standards and by providing accessibility-specific "help" features (e.g., FAQs, tips, tricks, or techniques).

  • We will enable consumers with disabilities to report accessibility problems they encounter and will make reasonable efforts to respond to and/or remediate any such problems identified in a timely manner.

  • We will provide opportunities for consumers with disabilities to influence the accessible design of future enhancements and upgrades.

AFB is excited to announce that on April 8, 2009, Marriott International signed on to be the lead corporate AAP participant. Visit Marriott's commitment page to see how the company is working toward accessibility. The Accessibility Help section offers general guidelines and features that will enhance the accessibility of visits to the Marriott web site, and the Accessibility Feedback section gives users an opportunity to provide feedback on their visit to the site. AFB Consulting and Marriott will work together to respond appropriately to user feedback, working together to create a more accessible web site for all visitors.

We applaud Marriott's efforts and hope others will follow in its footsteps. With baby boomers aging and the number of people experiencing vision loss projected to grow significantly, it is extremely important that all consumer-oriented companies take accessibility seriously. It's not only the right thing to do—it makes good business sense.

For more information on AFB Consulting and the AAP, please contact Marc Grossman at (212) 502-7740 or

News and Announcements

Exciting News from AFB and Facebook
Facebook has taken the next step toward making their site more accessible and will be working with AFB's web accessibility experts to make it happen. Check out AFB President & CEO Carl Augusto's post on Facebook's blog about how AFB and Facebook are working together to improve Facebook's accessibility.

New Subscription Rate for the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (JVIB)
The Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness (JVIB)—the premier journal of record on blindness and visual impairment from AFB Press—is now available at a new individual subscription rate of $25 for online access and $65 for a combined print and online subscription.

JVIB is the foremost outlet for research in the visual impairment field and provides both applied practice and comprehensive news coverage essential to practitioners in low vision, special education, and related areas. JVIB serves an international community including teachers of students with visual impairments, low vision therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, rehabilitation specialists, occupational therapists, and a range of other professionals.

Better Lighting for Better Sight DVD LabelPreventing Falls by Adapting Your Home DVD LabelAFB Press Releases New DVDs for Seniors with Vision Loss
AFB Press is pleased to announce the release of two new DVDs produced by the AFB Center on Vision Loss that contain simple and easy-to-implement suggestions for seniors with vision loss. Both DVDs have fully accessible audio menus that include options to turn on captions and audio descriptions. Better Lighting for Better Sight demonstrates how the right lighting can make all the difference in whether a person can accomplish a particular task or even manage his or her everyday life. The DVD contains information about critical lighting factors that can enhance vision and provides suggestions on how to choose the best lighting.

Preventing Falls by Adapting Your Home suggests simple and inexpensive changes that can be made in the home to help lessen the chance of a dangerous fall and enhance an individual's ability to live independently. The DVD addresses specific areas of the home, such as the kitchen and the bathroom, household furnishings, lighting, and more. This video series, created with the help of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Community Occupational Services Program, is also available on AFB Senior Site® at

Both DVDs are available for purchase online at the AFB Press bookstore.

Check Out What's New On FamilyConnect™!
New toolkits are now available to download in English and Spanish! Parents can print out toolkits on the following topics: After the Diagnosis, Working With Medical Professionals, and Overview of the Service System for Visually Impaired Children. In the blogging world, Ike Presley and Dan Oates are featured on Ask the Experts, and on A Parent's Voice, Susan LaVenture talks about Mother's Day and Healthy Vision Month.

Help Us Evaluate AFB Senior Site—Last Chance to Participate
AFB is seeking participants for an in-depth evaluation of AFB Senior Site. If you've visited Senior Site before and are familiar with its content, AFB wants to hear from you—we are especially interested in visitors who are experiencing vision loss or their family members. If you are interested in helping us to make Senior Site a better resource for you and people you know, please send an e-mail to If you agree to participate, we will be in touch with you in the next two to three weeks. Thanks for your support of Senior Site!

AFB Blog
Check out AFB's blog and read about a documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, the WCAG theme song, President Obama's disability team, audio description at Disney World, an accessible home makeover, and much more!

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