Voiceover: In the following video, blind and visually impaired children and adults learn work and socialize. At their places of employment, men and women use microphones, video magnifiers, headphones, refreshable braille displays, and other workplace technology. In a preschool classroom, students smile, engaged in puzzles, arts and crafts, and physical activities.
Now, American Foundation for the Blind president and CEO, Kirk Adams.
Kirk Adams: Every blind kid should be able to read at the same grade level as their sighted classmate. Braille training is essential. For older persons who are experiencing visual impairment, sixteen-percent of people over 65 will be visually impaired, 23% of people over 85 will be visually impaired.
How do we put systems and supports in place so older persons with visual impairment can live with dignity and independence? Seven out of 10 working-age blind adults are not working. Wage levels are lower. Upward mobility is less.
George Abbott, Chief Knowledge Advancement Officer, American Foundation for the Blind: Employment is empowering. It empowers people.
When you are employed, you're earning an income, you're empowered, and you get to make choices. You get to decide where you're going to live. You get to decide what transportation is best for you. You have more say and where your children go to school. We want to use our research efforts to make sound decisions and recommendations that ultimately affect public policy; so there are more incentives for blind people to work; that employers are more receptive to hiring people with disabilities; and that we connect on those barriers that are preventing blind people from working and having that empowerment of an income that they deserve.
Kirk Adams: At AFB, we're in a unique position to bring these stakeholder groups together and to lay the facts on the table. To dispel the misconceptions. To open the lines of communications.
At the American Foundation for the Blind, we want to eliminate those barriers. We want to create that playing field that is level. We want every blind child to get a great education. We want every blind working age adult to be able to have their career choice. And then, we want older persons who are visually impaired to live with dignity and independence.
Voiceover: We are the American Foundation for the Blind.
Small children many wearing strong eyeglasses play together at an outdoor playground. A doctor examines a woman's eyes. A woman with a mobility cane pets her service dog. In a corporate break room, six colleagues do stretching exercises, then chat and laugh.
Text appears. A-F-B. American Foundation for the Blind. Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss.
The American Foundation for the Blind is grateful to Bridge Multimedia, which provided pro bono video description and captioning; as well as the Chicago Lighthouse, which generously lent their properties, volunteers, and staff to help film this video and a 30-second PSA.