Student Loan Debt Relief, Public Transportation Funding, and the Paralympics

August 24, 2021
First some good news: U.S. Eliminates Student Loan Debt For Some Borrowers With Disabilities NPR, August 19, 2021 "The U.S. Education Department announced Thursday that it is discharging the outstanding student loans of more than 323,000 borrowers who have significant, permanent disabilities, and will remove barriers for borrowers who qualify for this relief in the future. The announcement will erase some $5.8 billion in debt and marks a significant step toward fixing a troubled debt relief…

Resources for Healthcare Workers to Better Support People Who Are Blind, Low Vision, or Deafblind

August 19, 2021
The doors to a healthcare facility open and a man walks in, using a white cane. You’re working the information desk. Do you know what to do? You’re a phlebotomist and you enter a patient’s room. The sign above the bed states the patient is blind. Do you know what to do? We’re betting like many healthcare workers, you have an idea but you’re not quite sure if your idea is “right.” After all, you’ve probably had few interactions, if any, with people who are blind, have low vision, or are…
Blog Topics Research, Health

Women's Suffrage Celebration: Exploring the Activism of Helen Keller

August 18, 2021
A year ago today, the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This federal amendment prohibits denying citizens the right to vote based on sex. In effect, recognizing a woman’s right to vote. Last summer, AFB commemorated that event with a talk in conjunction with the Planting Fields Foundation by AFB archivist Helen Selsdon. Images from the digital Helen Keller Archive – including letters, photographs…

Neva Fairchild and Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum Discuss Life During the Pandemic in Well+Good Article

August 16, 2021
On August 10, Well+Good, a media company dedicated to health and wellness, published a story titled, “Quarantine Conditions Have Uniquely Impacted People with Visual Impairments – Here’s How.” The story features extensive interviews with AFB Director of Research Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum and National Aging and Vision Loss Specialist Neva Fairchild, drawing upon research from the Flatten Inaccessibility survey results and their own personal experiences to illustrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics In the News

There’s Still Time to Apply to the Blind Leaders Development Program

August 12, 2021
…But the clock is ticking. It is the goal of the American Foundation for the Blind to see more blind professionals in positions of leadership at work as well as in the community. Applications are still open for the second Blind Leaders Development Program centennial cohort. We are looking for early to mid-career people with vision loss who want to develop their leadership skills to apply as Fellows, as well as mid- to late-career people who are blind or have low vision with leadership…
Blog Topics Leadership, Employment

Your TV Can Talk

August 9, 2021
Tech Notes Did you know that your TV can talk to you? No, I am not talking about the characters in the shows and commercials. I am talking about powerful screen reader technology that allows a person who is blind to access and use all the onscreen programming and features available on today’s TV systems. Screen readers are built into nearly all of today’s smart televisions, cable and satellite broadcast systems, as well as streaming systems like Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku. I am old…

AFB Applauds the Introduction of the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act of 2021

July 28, 2021
As we celebrate the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, AFB enthusiastically endorses the Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act of 2021. This tax credit supports small businesses making important investments in accessibility for their employees and customers. The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act (S. 2481 / H.R. 4714) would increase the size of business eligible for the credit from those earning gross receipts under $1 million to those earning under $2.5 million and would…

The Pandemic's Impact

July 27, 2021
On July 20, my inbox and Facebook feed were filled with posts about Paralympian swimmer Becca Meyers, who is deafblind due to Usher’s Syndrome. Her reasonable request to have a personal care assistant with her during the Paralympics was denied by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), which cited the strict protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the denial, she withdrew from competing in Tokyo. The pandemic, and an inadequate institutional response to it,…

8 Ways to Be a Disability Rights Ally

July 26, 2021
Celebrate the anniversary of the ADA by taking action! It's Disability Pride Month, in celebration of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. What better time than the anniversary of the ADA to commit to creating a more…

Thank You!

July 23, 2021
Throughout the American Foundation for the Blind's 100-year history, we have confronted challenges and overcome obstacles in the name of a singular, overarching goal: to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or have low vision. It has been an honor to present the Centennial Conversation series, underscoring the theme of inclusivity that we strive to make an everyday reality. We can’t tell you how much your engagement, thoughtful questions, and positive feedback have meant to…
Author Kirk Adams
Blog Topics Personal Reflections