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American Foundation for the Blind Presents 2003 Access and Irvin Schloss Awards--Tom Sullivan, Actor as Emcee

For Immediate Release
February 2003

Beverly Hills, CA—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) presented its 2003 Access Awards and Irvin Schloss Awards on February 20 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the AFB and the Foundation for the Junior Blind international symposium, "Vision Loss in the 21st Century—Everybody's Business."

The Access Awards honor individuals, corporations, and organizations that are eliminating or substantially reducing inequities faced by people who are blind or visually impaired. The following were honored with a 2003 Access Award:

American Council of the Blind (ACB) for its ACB Radio—the Internet-only radio station that features blind broadcasters who deliver live programming of shows on various topics and of interest to blind or visually impaired people.

Benetech for its Bookshare.org—a web-based system that increases access to digital books for blind, visually impaired, or print disabled people by enabling book scans to be shared through its on-line community.

The Kohler Co. for cleverly offering a realistic and positive portrayal of a blind person in its television commercial "Party."

The Kroger Co. for making shopping more accessible to blind and visually impaired people by incorporating user-friendly adjustments in the design of its new Cincinnati supermarket.

Presented for the first time, the Irvin Schloss Awards recognize excellence in advocacy on behalf of people who are blind or visually impaired. Irvin Schloss worked for 30 years, from 1958 to 1988, for the AFB Governmental Relations office, effectively influencing a wide range of legislation on behalf of blind or visually impaired people. The following were recognized with a 2003 Irvin Schloss Award:

Dr. Joy Efron, principal of the Frances Blend School and coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District Visually Impaired program, for her extraordinary efforts that helped to contribute to the success of keeping 18 special schools in Los Angeles open.

California Blind Alliance for Rehabilitation Change, an alliance of consumer groups and providers for the blind and visually impaired, for its successful campaign to pass Senate Bill 105 that establishes a division for blind services within the California Department of Rehabilitation.

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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 ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired. Visit us at: www.afb.org.

To schedule interviews with honorees, contact
Gabriella Smith-Coventry at: 212-502-7654.

Contact:
Gabriella Smith-Coventry
(212) 502-7654
gsmith@afb.net

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