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Journey Forward Study Exposes Issues, Suggests Solutions, in Ongoing Pandemic Society

May 11, 2022
As we pass the two-year mark since the start of COVID-19 restrictions, the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) recently released study, The Journey Forward: Impact of COVID-19 on Blind, Low Vision, and Deafblind U.S. Adults, captures reflections on experiences during a year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Summer of 2021. Although the data gathered from the 488 survey participants revealed challenges specific to COVID-19, it also provided insights into the systemic issues…

Justice Department Issues Web Accessibility Guidance

March 18, 2022
Today, the Department of Justice released guidance on the obligations of public entities (such as state and local governments) and businesses open to the public with regard to website accessibility. This guidance comes less than a month after 181 organizations signed a letter to the Department of Justice calling for regulations on the accessibility of websites and applications. This guidance covers why website accessibility matters, examples of barriers, and when the ADA requires websites to…
Author AFB Staff

International Women's Day: Helen Keller Archive Lesson Plans

March 8, 2022
Photograph taken indoors of Helen Keller and Polly Thomson with leading female members of the "Welfare for the Blind," "Alexandria School for the Blind Girls," Alexandria, Egypt. April 24, 1952. International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. Helen Keller never ceased to demand that all women, especially and including those who were poor…
Author AFB Staff
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AFB Honors the Legacy of the Late Donald H. Wedewer

February 25, 2022
The American Foundation for the Blind mourns the passing of Donald H. Wedewer, 96, of Charleston, South Carolina, a former AFB trustee and beloved colleague who committed his life to service. Born in Dyersville, Iowa, Wedewer was badly wounded in combat during World War II while serving as an infantryman, resulting in his losing both legs as well as his vision. While recovering from surgery, he met Helen Keller, who was visiting the veterans’ hospital and was particularly interested to speak…

Mentorship: The Key to Success and Personal Empowerment for Students Who Are Visually Impaired

February 1, 2022
When asked, "Were you nervous the first time you had to use a Bunsen burner with an open flame during microbiology lab?" Maureen J. Hayden, a blind woman who is pursuing a doctoral degree in marine biology at Texas A&M University, replied, "Of course!" This exchange begins a commentary featured in the recent Special Issue on Transition to a Meaningful Adult Life for Individuals With Visual Impairments of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB), in which Ms. Hayden…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Personal Reflections

Celebrating One of the Original Coders on World Braille Day

January 4, 2022
Every year on January 4 we celebrate braille and the birthday of Louis Braille, the French teenager who invented it. (Learn more about Louis Braille’s life and the impact of his famous code in our online Louis Braille Museum, featuring photographs, engravings, and illustrations from books preserved in the American Foundation for the Blind's Archives and Rare Book Collection.) In 2019, the UN General Assembly first officially designated January 4 as World Braille Day—noting that “braille is…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Braille

Thanksgiving Gratitude from the American Foundation for the Blind

November 22, 2021
Today, as you think about the things you are grateful for, please know we are thinking of you. We are thankful for your kindness and commitment to creating a world with no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. Each day of the 100 years since our founding, we have chipped away at barriers in school, the workplace, and the community — you can look back at key milestones in our accessible, interactive timeline. Now, as we prepare to enter a new century of advocacy, innovation,…
Author AFB Staff
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Blind Leaders Development Program Fellow Testifies Before New York State Assembly

November 9, 2021
Marc Safman is a fellow in the Blind Leaders Development Program Centennial Cohort. Marc is deafblind and has experience as a paralegal specializing in anti-money laundering compliance and litigation. He sits on the board of the American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB) and helped form the New York State Coalition of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Legislative Advocates. He frequently engages with legislators, candidates, and their staff to discuss disability and accessibility issues,…

NDEAM 2021: AFB Is Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021

October 7, 2021
Video Transcript National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. NDEAM's 2021 theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” This year, we reflect on the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the…

COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline Available for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

September 21, 2021
The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL), funded by both the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is an information and referral center that assists with locating vaccine sites, appointment scheduling, locating transportation to the appointment, in-home testing determination, COVID-19 vaccination education, and overcoming barriers to vaccination for people with disabilities. Additionally, DIAL specialists can help people with…