AFB's 2009 Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute
AFB's 2009 Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute was recently held March 5-7 in Washington, DC. The conference was a rousing success, as the top leaders in our field gathered to discuss how to leverage the changes in Washington to improve health care, education, rehabilitation, and employment for individuals with vision loss. We had a number of great sessions and wonderful speakers, including our Keynote, James McLaughlin, AFB Trustee and Managing Director of Convergent Wealth Advisors, who spoke on the current state of the economy and upcoming economic challenges. You can view and download this speech on AFB's web site.
At our Migel Medal ceremony and luncheon, Dr. Susan J. Spungin was awarded a Migel Medal for her 44-year career—36 years of which she spent in leadership roles at AFB—that has included numerous contributions to the blindness field and to people with vision loss and their families, both domestically and internationally. Also, this year we were privileged to have the Migel family join us—Christopher (Kit) Migel, his wife Cassandra (Cass), and their son Malcom (Mac). Kit is the grandson of M.C. Migel, the founder and first chairperson of AFB, and we were honored to have him and his family be a part of the ceremony. Rounding out our ceremony, Dr. Corinne Kirchner presented the Corinne Kirchner Research Award to Dr. Kay Ferrell for a lifetime of work producing sound research and strengthening the link between research and sensible public policy to meet the most critical needs of people who are blind or visually impaired.
Our 2009 Access Awards ceremony—honoring Apple, Inc., Diagnostic Devices, Inc., Mike May and the Sendero Group, and Canada's National Broadcast Reading Service—was held at the Hart Senate Office Building in downtown Washington. Two of this year's Migel Medal recipients, Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Edward Markey took time between key votes on critical issues to receive the accolades of those in attendance and updated us on their most recent efforts to promote legislation for people with vision loss and other disabilities. It was a great honor to have these respected supporters of the disability community with us at the ceremony. CSI actor Robert David Hall spoke on his disability and the lack of representation of people with disabilities in mainstream media. He recently created Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities (I AM PWD), a campaign to promote awareness regarding the lack of roles for actors with disabilities. AFB also presented Judy Dixon, Consumer Relations Officer for the National Library Service, with the Gallagher Award for her involvement and influence over the years to help ensure that technology benefits the lives of people with vision loss.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of the 2009 Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute: Delta Gamma Foundation, Verizon, Diagnostic Devices, Inc. the makers of Prodigy® Meters, AT&T Services, Inc., IBM, Wells Fargo, and Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian. Thanks to their support, AFB was able to bring together leaders and emerging leaders in the blindness field to improve the quality of programming and services to both children and adults with vision loss and their families.
News and Announcements
Assistive Technology For Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Guide to Assessment
AFB Press is pleased to announce the publication of Assistive Technology for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Guide to Assessment, by Ike Presley and Frances Mary D'Andrea. This user-friendly, comprehensive manual explains the essential role of assistive technology in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired and the common kinds of technology used. This exciting new publication presents a structured process for conducting a technology assessment, detailed assessment forms that can be used to determine students' technology needs and solutions to address them, and advice on the writing of program recommendations based on assessment results. It's a great resource for teachers of students with visual impairments, members of the IEP team, administrators, technology professionals, and anyone who needs to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology. For more information, visit AFB's online bookstore or contact AFB Press at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New JVIB Focus on Practice
The February issue of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) inaugurated an exciting new feature: "Practice Perspectives." This new section of the journal will highlight professional practice and the concerns and techniques of practitioners throughout the field. Edited by Dr. Jane N. Erin—one of the most respected voices in the field of visual impairment and blindness and editor emerita of the journal—"Practice Perspectives" will also provide readers with the opportunity to exchange thoughts and suggestions with Dr. Erin, featured authors, and each other. Dr. Erin's first column featured the unique approaches and creative solutions used by three professionals from across the United States to support reading with learners of all ages.
For a limited time only, the column will be free and available through JVIB online to non-subscribers and the public at large. For more information on the exciting developments taking place at JVIB, visit JVIB online at www.jvib.org, or e-mail Rebecca Burrichter, Senior Editor, at email@example.com.
Help Us Evaluate AFB Senior Site®
AFB is seeking participants for an in-depth evaluation of AFB Senior Site. If you've visited Senior Site before and are familiar with its content, AFB wants to hear from you—we are especially interested in visitors who are experiencing vision loss or their family members. If you are interested in helping us to make Senior Site a better resource for you and people you know, please send an e-mail to SeniorSiteSurvey@afb.net. If you agree to participate, we will be in touch with you in the next two to three weeks. Thanks for your support of Senior Site!
Check out AFB's blog and read about Apple's accessibility efforts, a performance on Helen Keller, World Glaucoma Day, Senator Harkin and Congressman Markey, the economic stimulus package, and more!