AFB and Perkins Announce New Partnership to Improve the Quality of Education for Students with Visual Impairments
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the Perkins School for the Blind recently announced that they have joined forces to ensure that students with vision loss receive instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC)— an extension of the general core curriculum that teaches children with visual impairments life skills. The curriculum includes everything from assistive technology and braille, to social skills, and independent living skills. AFB and Perkins will be undertaking an aggressive education effort to include the ECC in the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law that guarantees services to children with disabilities throughout the country. IDEA is scheduled to be up for reauthorization in 2011.
The Expanded Core Curriculum has been taught in schools for blind and visually impaired children for decades, but is not fully incorporated into the curriculum in mainstream schools. It combines the general core curriculum for all students with the specialized program designed to meet the disability-specific needs of students with visual impairments.
"We are determined to make sure all children with visual impairments have access to the same opportunities as their sighted peers, and have the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in the classroom, the workforce, and everyday life," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB's President & CEO. "The ECC has been developed and supported by the field and taught in schools for the blind for many years; it is time to make sure all students who are blind or visually impaired are taught these crucial skills."
As part of the campaign, AFB and Perkins have launched a new advocacy website that will host online discussion forums on issues related to ECC and provide links to online resources. Visit the site today at www.ECCadvocacy.org and support the campaign.
News and Announcements
AccessWorld®, "A Hot Summer for Technology Policy"
In the August issue of AccessWorld, "A Hot Summer for Technology Policy," Paul Schroeder, AFB's Vice President of Programs and Policy, enthusiastically outlines the recent achievements to improve U.S. policies on technology accessibility for people living with vision loss. As part of the numerous triumphs—which are connected to the recent 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—Paul discusses AFB's collaboration with lawmakers and other organizations in the disability community to develop the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. This effort contributed to the overwhelming 348-23 margin House vote to pass H.R. 3101, a bill to improve access to essential modern communication technologies. Paul also remarks on the Senate's version of that bill, S. 3304, which passed on August 5th. The House is now expected to pass the Senate's version when it returns in September. The legislation will then head to the president's desk.
To learn more about other successes in technology, such as the FCC's initiative to improve access to cell phones; the Department of Justice's plans to address website accessibility; and President Obama's memo to uphold the federal government's responsibility to ensure that federal employees with disabilities have the accessibility technology they need, visit AccessWorld.
Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute (JLTLI)
You are invited to attend the 2011 Josephine L. Taylor Leadership Institute on March 11-12, at the downtown Seattle Renaissance Marriott. Pre-conferences will take place on March 10 and will cover a number of subjects, such as optic nerve hypoplasia, Orientation and Mobility (O&M), and recreation. For more information, e-mail Scott Truax, AFB Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for 2011 Migel Medals Nominations
AFB announces an invitation for nominations for the 2011 Migel Medals, the highest honor in the blindness field. The 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 significantly improved the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. The Migel Medal Awards consists of two categories, the Professional Award and the Lay Volunteer Award. To learn more about candidate qualifications, past winners, and more, read the full press release or e-mail Pris Rogers at email@example.com. Submissions are due by Monday, September 27, 2010.
AFB Senior Site®: Surviving Recovery from Macular Hole Surgery
AFB Senior Site's newest content on Macular Hole Surgery, by Joy R. Efron, Ed.D., is a five-part series that takes us through Efron's personal experiences with macular hole, a full thickness hole in the central part of the retina called the macula. Efron, who has 42 years of experience as an educator of blind and visually impaired children, shares her complete experience, from the beginning stages of macular hole, to the surgery, to treatment. To learn more about macular hole and to read the article, visit AFB Senior Site.
Contrast and Lighting Webinar, Now Available at the AFB Press Bookstore
The Contrast and Lighting webinar offered this June through the eLearning Center has now been archived and is available for purchase through the AFB Press Bookstore. The webinar is $25 and includes one hour of Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) for both the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) and for the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Visit the bookstore today.
ATIA 2010 Chicago and 2011 Orlando Conferences
As a result of our partnership with the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA), AFB is pleased to announce a discount for registration to attend both the ATIA 2010 Chicago Conference and the ATIA 2011 Orlando Conference. In order to receive a $30 discount, when completing registration, enter the code: APC3. For more information about ATIA and to register for the Chicago and Orlando conferences, log on to www.atia.org. For more information about the ATIA Alliance Partner discount and how your discount also benefits AFB, e-mail Ike Presley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFB on the Web
AFB Senior Site is now on Facebook! If you're on Facebook, become a Senior Site fan. For the latest AFB news, you can also follow us on the official AFB Facebook fan page, or the Helen Keller, AFB FamilyConnect and AFB CareerConnect Facebook fan pages.