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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

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Make Vision a Focus for Healthy Vision Month

Editor's note: The National Eye Institute (NEI) has proclaimed May as Healthy Vision Month.— and the National Eye Institute (NEI) needs your help to Make Vision a Focus! Did you know more than 23 million American adults have never had an eye exam? Getting regular eye exams can catch vision problems early, when they may be easier to treat. That’s why NEI is interested in making vision health a priority, by encouraging adults to take action to protect their vision and inspiring health professionals to continue teaching the importance of vision care. In conjunction with this

New Design for Medicare Cards Raises Accessibility Questions for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

In September of this year, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced that redesigned cards will be issued to all Medicare recipients starting in April of 2018. This project is known as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). The reason for the change in card design is so that individuals' Social Security numbers can be replaced by a new "Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI)"a unique, randomly assigned series of numbers and upper-case letters for each card holder. The move away from placing Social Security numbers on Medicare cards is

Takeaways from "Medicare Should Pay for Low Vision Devices: Views Through Different Lenses" Teleseminar

On October 4, 2017 AFB and the 21st Century Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss hosted a teleseminar, "Medicare Should Pay for Low Vision Devices: Views Through Different Lenses." We would like to thank all of the panelists (listed below) and participants who joined us for this informative discussion. A special thanks goes out to VFO who generously sponsored the event. Following are a few of the main takeaways from the call: Medicare must determine that low vision devices are eligible durable medical equipment

On the Brink of Health Care Repeal: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Proposal

The Senate is moving forward next week with a vote to pass the latest healthcare proposal, written by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.). The Graham-Cassidy proposal would repeal the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) Medicaid expansion, premium tax credits, and other beneficial programs. States will be able to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions. This bill will be devastating to people with disabilities and their families, women and children, seniors, low-income Americans, and threaten access to community living, employment opportunities, &

American Foundation for the Blind and 74 National Disability Organizations Strongly Oppose Revised Better Care Reconciliation Act

We join with members of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) in strongly opposing the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). While we have serious concerns about many provisions of the BCRA, including a new provision that would dramatically increase costs for people with preexisting conditions, we cannot overstate the danger facing the millions of adults and children with disabilities if the bill’s Medicaid proposals are adopted by the Senate. The bill’s imposition of a per capita cap and the effective end of the adult Medicaid expansion would cut federal support by $756 billion by 2026, decimating a program that for decades has provided essential healthcare and long term services and supports to millions of adults and children with disabilities. Some

The American Foundation for the Blind and Coalition of Aging Organizations Oppose American Health Care Act Provisions

The American Foundation for the Blind is proud to be a member of Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), the country’s preeminent coalition representing older Americans. This week we joined the LCAO in expressing our strong opposition to provisions of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA) because of the harm they would inflict on our nation’s seniors. The following are key points taken from a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer. We are deeply concerned that the AHCA would: Increase the number of uninsured Americans by 23 million Significantly increase health care costs for millions moreparticularly older adults Cut Medicaid by $834 billion

Fitbit and Up24: Are These Health-Tracking Devices Accessible to Exercisers Who Are Blind?

Tracking health and fitness is all the rage. Should you jump on the bandwagon? Can you? That is, are these tracking devices accessible to users who are blind? I've tried two such devices: the Fitbit Flex(tm) (usually just called Fitbit) and the Up24(tm) from Jawbone. Accessibility Bottom Line The Fitbit is light-years ahead of the Up24 in terms of accessibility. If you are choosing between the two, and you are visually impaired, get the Fitbit, no doubt about it. The initial setup is much more accessible, and the daily use of the device is much more

8 Key Resources on Diabetes, Diabetic Retinopathy, and Vision Loss from the American Foundation for the Blind

Diabetes is a complex condition that, if not carefully managed and treated, can lead to complications such as diabetic retinopathy, which can cause "blind spots," blurring, and vision loss. The American Foundation for the Blind, in honor of National Diabetes Month, has gathered key resources to help you care for yourself when you have diabetes and vision loss. Please share these 8 critical resources on diabetes and diabetic retinopathy: Read more about it: AFB's Guide to Living with

Take a Hike! Enjoying Hiking After Vision Loss

Take a Hike! It's a great time of year to get outdoors and get moving, so AFB is talking about hiking as a recreational activity for people who are blind or visually impaired. VisionAware's Ashley Nemeth shares her love of hiking and offers helpful tips on hiking with a cane and with a guide dog. FamilyConnect blogger Emily Coleman shares a parent's perspective on

Five Boroughs in Tandem...Cycling!

I like to talk about technology...but sometimes the outdoors just takes over. Last Sunday was the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, a fabulous event here in NYC, in which about 32,000 people ride bicycles through the city. I rode on the back of a tandem bicycle. See this great VisionAware article about tandem cycling to get inspired. So, what technology comes into play when cycling? Let's start with the bike. I rode with a new group

How to Order Walmart Talking Prescription Containers

Following up on the recent press release from Walmart, please read below to learn how to order Talking Prescription Containers. On June 8, Walmart announced that it is now providing ScripTalk Talking Prescription Containers free of charge to people with vision loss as part of a pilot program. The ScripTalk Talking Prescription program is being offered to customers across the country through Walmart mail order, and also at three Walmart stores. To listen to the talking label provided by Walmart, you will need to first get a reading device from En-Vision