American Foundation for the Blind Celebrates Its 90th Year
NEW YORK (June 28, 2011)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) celebrates its 90th anniversary today, 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's long history of expanding possibilities for people with vision loss augurs well for the coming decades and beyond. AFB is home to a number of forward-looking programs, including:
- FamilyConnect, which allows families a place to support each other, share stories and concerns and find resources on raising their children from birth to adulthood. FamilyConnect is the result of a partnership between AFB and the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments.
- SeniorSite, a Web community that offers visitors information on how to remain independent and make everyday tasks like cooking, paying bills and reading easier. SeniorSite is specifically designed for older persons losing their vision.
- AFB Public Policy, which watchdogs in Washington, DC, to ensure people with vision loss are fairly represented on Capitol Hill.
- AFB's Tech team, which, through the online magazine AccessWorld, keeps the public up to date on the latest technology as it relates to the blindness field, including smartphones, iPads and Internet usage.
- The AFB Center on Vision Loss in Dallas, TX, which provides tools and resources needed to continue living a healthy, independent life.
- AFB Press, the leading publisher in the field of blindness and visual impairment, which produces books, videos, journals and electronic materials.
- CareerConnect, which combats the high unemployment rates among people with vision loss by offering tools for blind and visually impaired students, job seekers and potential employers.
- AFB Consulting, which helps corporations connect with potential customers with disabilities through collaboration and accessible design.
- eLearning, a comprehensive Web-based learning center for professionals working with seniors with age-related eye conditions.
"Our 90th anniversary isn't really about AFB; it's about the many people and programs that have made this achievement possible," said AFB President and CEO Carl Augusto. "This milestone reflects an idea that's embedded in AFB's culture — that we serve people of all ages living with vision loss by looking ahead and making sure they can live lives of hope, possibility and expanded opportunities."
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.