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for the Blind

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Lylas Mogk, M.D., and William Wiener, Ph.D., Named 2011 Migel Medal Recipients

New York, NY (December 3, 2010)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to announce the 2011 winners of the Migel Medals, the highest honor in the field of blindness. The 2011 recipients are Lylas G. Mogk, M.D and William R. Wiener, Ph.D.

"This year's awardees have revolutionized life for people with vision loss by dedicating their time and professions to ensuring those with visual impairments can live active, independent, healthy lives," said Carl R. Augusto, President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). "We are honored to publicly recognize Lylas and Bill for their incredible contributions to the field of blindness and low vision."

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

About the Awardees

Dr. Lylas Mogk

Lylas Mogk, M.D., is a nationally recognized ophthalmologist and author whose mission is to empower those with vision loss to maximize their independence in daily activities, to preserve their dignity and quality of life, and to retain their joy in living. She was inspired by her patients and her father, who had age-related macular degeneration, to begin a vision rehabilitation service in her ophthalmology department.

Dr. Mogk is the founding director of the Henry Ford Health System Center for Vision Rehabilitation and Research in Grosse Pointe and Livonia, Michigan and was instrumental in gaining Medicare coverage for vision rehabilitation for Michigan seniors. She is the former Chair of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Vision Rehabilitation Committee and the SmartSight Initiative in Vision Rehabilitation and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.

She holds a B.A. from Vassar College, M.S. from Indiana University, and an M.D. from Wayne State University Medical School. Dr. Mogk completed her ophthalmology residency at the Kresge Eye Institute of Wayne State University, which named her its Distinguished Alumnus in 2007 for her work in vision rehabilitation.

She writes and presents to professional and lay audiences on macular degeneration, coping with vision loss, and vision rehabilitation. She is co-author with her daughter, Marja Mogk, PhD, of the award-winning book, Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing your Sight (Random House, 2003).

Her work has been widely recognized by the field of vision loss. She received the Distinguished Service Award, American Optometric Association Low Vision Section, 2009; an Honorable Mention, Crain's Detroit Health Heroes, 2004; Secretariat and Senior Service Awards, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2002, 2003 and 2009; and the Literature Award and Service Awards, Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 2000 and 2009.

Dr. William Wiener

William Wiener, Ph.D., is a renowned leader in orientation and mobility (O&M) and has played an integral role in the continuous development of the O&M profession. Early in his career, he chaired a committee to develop a Code of Ethics for O&M specialists that has since been incorporated into the process of certification for O&M professionals. In addition, he is an Editor of Foundations of Orientation and Mobility, the essential reference and teaching tool on O&M.

Dr. Wiener is currently the Dean in Residence at the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington D.C. Prior to that, he served as Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University. He is a former President of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), former Chairperson of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for the Blind. He holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, an M.A. in Rehabilitation of Persons who are Blind, and an M.A. in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Dr. Wiener served twelve years as a faculty member, and later, as a program director of blind rehabilitation at Cleveland State University. He also served fourteen years as Chairperson of the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University. He is certified as an orientation & mobility specialist and as a rehabilitation counselor.

Dr. Wiener's contributions to the blindness field have been widely recognized. He is the recipient of AER's Ambrose Shotwell Award as well as the Lawrence E. Blaha Award and Newcomer-Hill Award presented by AER's Division of Orientation and Mobility.


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. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit us online at

Media Contact:
Adrianna Montague-Devaud
AFB Communications
(212) 502-7615

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