Blind European Couture Designer Debuts His Collection at Designing with a Vision
On Friday, April 16, the AFB Center on Vision Loss in Dallas will host Designing with a Vision, a runway show to present the work of Ukraine's award-winning, top haute couture designer, Sergey Ermakov. With the goal to share his story of living successfully with vision loss, Ermakov will make his American debut with 30 spectacular dresses, an exquisite collection with intricate details of beading, feathers, lace and sequins.
Ermakov began experimenting with art and fashion at an early age but lost 95 percent of his vision at the age of eleven when he developed diabetic retinopathy. Despite his vision loss, Ermakov pursued his dream to be a tailor and eventually worked as a costume and theater designer. As a result of his drive to follow his passion, Ermakov is now one of the most acclaimed and exclusive designers in the Ukraine, and his name recognition is gaining momentum worldwide.
"Today, millions of blind and visually impaired Americans know independence and opportunity in their lives because of the work we do at American Foundation for the Blind," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "Sergey's success is a great example of how someone who is blind or visually impaired can live a productive, fulfilling life with the right tools, support and determination. Vision loss doesn't mean giving up your dreams."
The Designing with a Vision event will include two elaborate runway shows and a trunk show, and will be held at The Fairmont Dallas Hotel. For ticket information and reserved seating, contact Abi Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News and Announcements
Mobile Technology Accessibility: The Sweet 16
Are you a cell phone user concerned about mobile technology accessibility? AFB is currently seeking interested individuals, with any level of vision loss, to take part in an exciting research project to help us update the "Sweet 16" — the top 16 features that AFB has identified as essential mobile technology features that should be accessible to people with vision loss. Interested adults, 18 years of age and older, will take part in one-hour focus group discussions designed to explore consumer opinion about the current and future use of mobile technology and its relative accessibility.
The Sweet 16 focus group discussions will be conducted between May 3-21 in Dallas, Texas; Huntington, West Virginia; Washington, DC; and possibly other locations. To participate, or for questions, contact Jennifer Howard, MPP, MSW, AFB's Senior Policy Research Associate, at email@example.com.
Helen Keller Achievement Awards (HKAA)
Save the date, Monday evening, June 7, 2010, for the 16th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Awards!
AFB presents the Helen Keller Achievement Awards to acknowledge Helen Keller's extraordinary efforts and to promote the notable achievements of individuals and organizations that have improved the quality of life for all people who are blind or visually impaired. This year's Personal Achievement honoree is Rachael Scdoris, professional sled dog racer, and the Corporate Achievement honorees are Hewlett-Packard Company, HSBC North America, and Lions International.
For additional information on the event and honorees, view the full announcement.
Assistive Technology for Students Who Are Blind: A Guide to Assessment
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2010 Webinar Series is a new collection of live interactive online educational events, each presented by national leaders in their field. On April 21, 2010, Ike Presley, AFB's National Project Manager, will present on assistive technology assessment, the first step to providing students who are blind or visually impaired with access to the technology tools they will need to be successful in school and at work. This webinar will provide a brief overview of the technology tools available, the needed background information, a basic framework for the assessment, and suggestions on writing the recommendations and report to the IEP (Individualized Education Program) team. For complete session abstracts, learning outcomes, and speaker biographies, please visit ATIA's web site, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
FamilyConnect® en Español
FamilyConnect is pleased to announce that more than 300 articles on familyconnect.org are now available in Spanish. Visitors can now choose the "Read this article in English" link or the "Leer este artículo en español" link, and screen reader users will be able to hear words pronounced correctly in both languages. Follow the "en español" link on FamilyConnect's home page, located next to the search field, to check out the Spanish-language version, or simply go to: www.familyconnect.org/Spanish. Spanish materials on FamilyConnect are possible thanks to funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
AFB Press Releases Audio CD of To Love This Life
AFB Press is pleased to announce the CD re-release of its audio recording of To Love This Life: Quotations by Helen Keller. The book is read by actress Patty Duke, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Helen Keller in the 1962 film of The Miracle Worker and an Emmy Award for her role as Annie Sullivan in the 1979 TV movie. This collection includes previously unpublished letters and speeches from the Helen Keller Archives at AFB. The audio recording also includes an emotionally moving segment recorded by Patty Duke, describing the impact of Helen Keller on her personal life. In addition to this CD format, To Love This Life is also available as a hard-cover print book, or as an ASCII CD-ROM. To purchase, please visit the AFB Press online bookstore.
FamilyConnect® and AFB Senior Site™ Offer Fitness Advice
On the heels of Brian McKeever's achievement as the first blind skier to participate in the Winter Olympics, both FamilyConnect and Senior Site discuss the topic of fitness for blind and visually impaired kids and seniors. Read an article from Lauren Lieberman, founder of Camp Abilities, for an in-depth look into the subject of getting children with visual impairments involved in physical activities. Also view Senior Site's Fitness and Fun section to read stories from individuals with vision loss who have been involved in a variety of sports, and to find out about activities such as skiing with vision loss, exercising for flexibility and strength, bowling, running, dancing, tai chi, and even sky-diving.
Check out AFB's blog for Crista Earl's review, "First Impressions of the Apple iPad from a Blind User," and read Mark Richert's post on the release of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) long-awaited National Broadband Plan. Also, Paul Schroeder would like to hear your thoughts on the views he expressed in the Editor's Page of AccessWorld regarding the role of the government in providing subsidies for the purchase of assistive technology.