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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

New Online Course from AFB Provides Vital Continuing Education Opportunity

Free, Flexible Web-Based Class Bridges the Gap Between Vision Impairment and Adult Literacy Education Fields

NEW YORK (September 21, 2004)—Participating in "Bridging the Gap: Best Practices for Instructing Adults Who Are Visually Impaired and Have Low Literacy Skills" just got a lot easier. The American Foundation for the Blind's (AFB) National Literacy Center has launched an online version of their long-standing program that integrates visual impairment and adult literacy issues for educators.

Originally developed as a three-day group workshop, "Bridging the Gap" is now available to individuals, free-of-charge, at Participants can register for the class online, and by simply choosing a username and password they can work their way through several content sections on their own time, at their own pace, and in a manner that suits their specific needs.

"'Bridging the Gap' is a tremendous opportunity to reach more educators —and ultimately students —than ever before," said Frances Mary D'Andrea, director of AFB's National Literacy Center. "The challenges of having a visual impairment and low literacy skills can be overwhelming. It is crucial that professionals in these fields have knowledge and awareness of both issues in order to have the most positive educational outcomes when they interact with adult learners."

"Bridging the Gap" online is made up of various content modules designed to provide an understanding of the social, legal, and practical issues educators face when working with adults with vision and literacy problems. The course also aims to familiarize participants with the full range of instructional theories, technologies, and resources they can draw upon for their work.

Five of six content modules are currently available online. A sixth module on the topic of technology will be launched in Summer 2005. For more information on "Bridging The Gap" and how to enroll in the online course, visit

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The American Foundation for the Blind—the organization to which Helen Keller devoted her life—is a national nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate the inequities faced by the 10 million Americans who are blind or visually impaired.

The AFB National Literacy Center in Atlanta, GA, develops a wide variety of initiatives to promote literacy among people who are blind or who have low vision. The Center leads the blindness field in developing teacher training curriculum, providing up-to-date resources and workshops for professionals and providing resources on braille, assistive technology and low vision.

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