Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum joined AFB in 2020 to lend her decades of expertise to help conduct and analyze research related to vision loss.
With the COVID-19 pandemic taking a front seat in all our lives, Dr. Rosenblum quickly took leading roles in the development, deployment, and analysis of two national collaborative surveys to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of those with vision loss. The Flatten Inaccessibility report highlights the experiences of 1,921 adults with visual impairments early in the pandemic. The report provides a window into both systemic and COVID-19-related challenges experience by U.S. adults and contains recommendations for mitigating these challenges. The Access & Engagement study sought to examine how COVID-19 was impacting the education of children with visual impairments, their families, teachers of students with visual impairments, and orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists as the 2019-2020 school year was ending. The 1,622 participants from the U.S. and Canada provided insight to the successes and challenges students with visual impairments were experiencing both in the US and Canada. Dr. Rosenblum and her team will be conducting the Access and Engagement 2 survey late this fall to continue to monitor the ever-changing situation for students with disabilities.
Dr. Rosenblum and her team have started recruitment for the Workplace Technology Study to learn how employees use technology in their workplace, the training they undergo, and any accessibility barriers they experience. This study begins with focus groups to hear from employees who are visually impaired and those who are sighted. If you work in the fields of banking/finance, telemedicine, or IT/communications, please read more to learn about this study and consider joining a focus group this fall.
Prior to joining AFB, Dr. Rosenblum was a Research Professor in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at the University of Arizona, where she had worked since 1999. She was the Project Director for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal 2 project, Animal Watch Vi: Building Graphics Literacy. She led the project team in developing an intervention to support pre-algebra students with visual impairments to build their skills to gather information from graphs and maps accurately and efficiently.
Also, during her time at the University of Arizona, Dr. Rosenblum prepared teachers to work with students with visual impairments (TVIs). She coordinated teacher preparation programs in Arizona and Nevada.
Dr. Rosenblum brings to AFB both her professional expertise and her own experience as a woman who has low vision. She has been published in journals, written book chapters, produced a video for older adults who were becoming nondrivers, and designed curricula. She regularly presents workshops at conferences throughout the United States. In June 2020 she was the lead presenter on AFB’s Virtual Leadership Conference titled, Flatten Inaccessibility: Using Data to Ensure COVID-19 Responses Are Inclusive of Adults with Vision Loss.
Dr. Rosenblum and her team have started recruitment for our Workplace Technology Study. We want to learn about how employees use technology in their workplace, the training they undergo, and any barriers they experience. This study begins with focus groups, both with those who are visually impaired and those who are sighted. If you are in the fields of banking/finance, telemedicine, or IT/communication, please read more to learn about this study and consider joining a focus group this fall.
Dr. Rosenblum holds a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania; a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee; and a doctorate from the University of Arizona, where her dissertation examined the best friendships of 40 adolescents with visual impairment.
She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband Dennis. She enjoys bicycling, swimming, and time with friends.
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