Carl R. Augusto
President & Chief Executive Officer
American Foundation for the Blind
Carl R. Augusto has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) since May 1991. Mr. Augusto is a preeminent leader in the field of blindness and visual impairment, having served in a variety of professional and volunteer capacities since 1971. During his tenure at AFB, he has guided the organization toward a greater focus in addressing critical issues facing the field of blindness. Under his leadership, AFB has forged numerous strategic partnerships and alliances with organizations inside and outside of the field that has resulted in programmatic and financial synergies and innovative service delivery models. He has expanded AFB's scope to influence corporate America to make products and services accessible to blind and visually impaired people and has brought organizations, of and for the blind, together toward common objectives and greater collaboration.
Augusto has led AFB's move into the digital era. He significantly bolstered its technology program and created and expanded the organization's award-winning web programs and services, increasing access to AFB's information and services. He oversaw the establishment and growth of AFB TECH, the Technology and Employment Center at Huntington (West Virginia), and the AFB Center on Vision Loss in Dallas. In addition, he has strengthened AFB's leadership role and spearheaded efforts to help AFB attain greater financial stability by professionalizing its fundraising program and exercising rigorous fiscal discipline.
From 1985 until his appointment as AFB's President, he served as Executive Director of the Cincinnati Association for the Blind (CAB), a multi-service private agency. His accomplishments included expanding service programs to encompass assistive technology training and early childhood intervention.
From 1975 to 1985, Mr. Augusto held several staff and management positions with the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and Visually Handicapped (NAC) in New York City. Appointed NAC's Associate Executive Director in 1981, he coordinated review teams responsible for evaluating services and management practices of agencies and schools in the blindness system nationwide and assumed a leadership role in the revision of NAC's management standards.
Prior to his positions with NAC, Mr. Augusto worked as a rehabilitation counselor for blind clients with the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped and Helen Keller Services for the Blind, a private multi-service agency headquartered in Brooklyn.
Mr. Augusto was a member of AFB's Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1991. He served as a member and secretary of the Board of Directors of National Industries for the Blind, and is a past chair of the Strategic Planning, Certification Review, and Bylaws and Structure committees of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). He served as president of the North American-Caribbean Region of the World Blind Union and as an officer of the World Blind Union between 2008 and 2012. He also served as treasurer and board member of the National Health and Human Service Assembly; and is an advisor to the board of the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI).
He has also served on the board of the Descriptive Video Service of WGBH in Boston and Radio Reading Services of Greater Cincinnati, Inc. He was President of the Cincinnati Host Lions Club from 1988 to 1989. Mr. Augusto has published several articles within and outside of the blindness field. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Robert B. Irwin Award presented by National Industries for the Blind for outstanding contributions to the employment of people who are blind; the Wings of Freedom Award, presented by American Printing House for the Blind; the Lifetime Achievement award from Vision Serve Alliance; the George Card Award, presented by the American Council of the Blind for outstanding services to blind people; the J. Kenneth Cozier Award for distinguished services in Ohio, presented by the Ohio Chapter of AER; the distinguished Service Award from the California Council for the Blind; the Ken Morlock Award for Outstanding Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired Community, presented by the American Council of the Blind of Ohio; the Centennial Award, presented by the Xavier Society for the Blind; the Louis Braille Award presented by the Associated Services for the Blind; and the George E. Keane Award presented by the New York State AER. Partners for Youth with Disabilities' National Disability Mentoring Coalition also selected him to be a Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame honoree.
Mr. Augusto holds a master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from New York University, a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Saint Peter's College in New Jersey.
Carl R. Augusto will retire in the spring of 2016 after 25 years of service to AFB. "This has been my dream job from beginning to end," said Mr. Augusto. "AFB is a very special place with a talented and committed staff and board. I feel fortunate and honored to have spent my career doing what I love and working alongside colleagues who share my passion to ensure people with vision loss have an equal shot at achieving their dreams."
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