Letter from the President and Chair
90 Years: Looking Back, Moving Forward
For AFB, 90 years is a milestone, no question about it.
For nine decades, AFB has championed access and equality for those with vision loss. With each passing year, we've stood at the forefront of new technologies. We've revolutionized the blindness field, crafting innovative tools and strategies for educators and other professionals. And we've been instrumental in opening doors to employment and social participation once thought beyond the scope of people with visual impairments.
In sum, AFB has transformed a culture of presumed dependency into one where vision loss need not define the parameters of independence and achievement for anyone.
One might think that 90 years' worth of victories warrants a moment or two to pause, reflect, celebrate...
And we would, but we're much too busy meeting the next challenge, rising to ensure opportunity, empowerment, and engagement for individuals with vision loss of all ages and walks of life.
It is fitting, then, that even as this report glances back to key moments in AFB's historic journey, our focus is forward. In these pages, you will learn about the successful expansion of AFB's CareerConnect® employment network to Canada, the latest eLearning webinars for vision loss professionals, and the fruits of our consulting work with leading U.S. companies. Meanwhile, innovations like our newly launched FamilyFriends social network are ending the days when disability meant isolation; we are using technology to create a supportive virtual community of parents eager to learn from one another as they share the experience of raising children with visual impairments.
With every new advance, there is always a new challenge affecting the vision loss community—a weak economy, shifting legislative priorities, new technologies that need to be adapted for people with limited vision. Over 90 years, only AFB has gained the expertise and authoritative voice to address these challenges.
Our diligence and attention are always required.
What do 90 years of achievement mean to us at AFB? Nostalgia and satisfaction of a job well done, certainly; but above all, we view our past 90 years as a solid foundation for the vital work ahead of us.
Carl R. Augusto
President and CEO
Concetta F. Conkling
Chair, Board of Trustees