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for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

AFB Names Kathleen Mary Huebner, Ph.D. and George Kerscher, Ph.D.  2012 Migel Medal Recipients

New York (December 6, 2011)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the 2012 winners of the Migel Medals, the highest honor in the blindness field. The 2012 recipients are George Kerscher, Ph.D. and Kathleen Mary Huebner, Ph.D.

"It is an honor to present these medals to George and Kathleen for their outstanding achievements in the blindness and low vision field," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "In dedicating their professional lives to ensuring that people with vision loss can live healthy and independent lives, the 2012 Migel Medal awardees are truly worthy of this special recognition."

The AFB Migel Medal was established in 1937 by the late M.C. Migel, AFB's first chairman, to honor professionals and volunteers whose dedication and achievements improve the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired.

About the Awardees

Kathleen Mary Huebner, Ph.D. has not only united the blindness professional training field at the leadership level, but has invited every major national organization of and for the blind to work together to ensure the success of up-and-coming professionals in the blindness field.

Dr. Huebner most recently served as Associate Dean and Professor of the College of Education and Rehabilitation, and Co-Director, National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment, Salus University, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. Presently she serves as Professor and Director of the National Consortium for Leadership in Sensory Disabilities, for the College of Education and Rehabilitation at Salus University. Along with her numerous publications and presentations, Dr. Huebner continues to teach at the in-service and pre-service levels.

Paramount in Dr. Huebner's accomplishments was the creation of the National Center for Leadership in Visual Impairment and National Consortium for Leadership in Sensory Disabilities, both funded by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. These programs have and continue to increase the number of doctoral candidates and directly addressed the need for more professionals and leaders in the field of blindness and visual impairment. Dr. Huebner's creativity and political prowess in bringing together all universities offering doctoral study in blindness and visual impairment and deaf-blindness programs has allowed for better national coordination, enrichment activities and contacts for our future leaders.

George Kerscher, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized accessibility expert. He believes properly designed information systems can make all information accessible to all people and is working to push evolving technologies in this direction.

Most significantly, Dr. Kerscher is the "driver" of efforts to standardize accessible digital books. His work contributed greatly to the establishment of the DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) standards, which has been adopted worldwide as the standard for accessible books.

Dr. Kerscher has been dedicated to providing equal access to information throughout his career. He established Computerized Books for the Blind in the 1980s; was recruited to direct the research program of Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D), subsequently merging his company with RFB&D (now Learning Ally); and is currently both Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium and President of the International Digital Publishing Forum.

The Migel Medals will be presented to the recipients at the 2012 AFB National Leadership Conference at St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, in early May.

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About AFB

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.

Contact:

John Mackin

AFB Communications

212-502-7617

jmackin@afb.net

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