AFB's Public Policy and Research Institute strives to accurately and persuasively understand and describe the characteristics, experiences, needs, and capabilities of people who are blind or visually impaired.

On December 18, EdSurge, an educational technology company that publishes newsletters and operates databases used by venture capitalists, teachers, and school administrators, published a story titled “COVID-19 Is Costing Visually Impaired Students Time That Can’t Be Made Up.”

As the Director of Research at AFB, I spend 8-10 hours a day in front of a computer screen five days a week and often 10+ hours over the weekend. As someone with low vision, all that screen time is tough, especially when I have a visually demanding task or have to learn a new program. The latest one for me is Trello, a tool AFB is now using to track projects. Where exactly is the button I need to start a new project? It took me a lot longer to find it than my sighted colleagues. Frustrating!

Boy sits at table next to braille embosser. He is looking through tactile graphs. He wears a mask to avoid spreading viruses.

We know that families of blind and low vision children are still facing major challenges as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced many schools to move to online education.

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join the second AFB Town Hall on the impact of COVID-19 on access to employment and technology for Americans who are blind or have low vision, drawing on findings from the Flatten Inaccessibility Report. A complete archive will be available soon, for anyone who missed the live conversation. As promised, here are some of the resources shared by the presenters and attendees:

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to join the first AFB Town Hall on the impact of COVID-19 on access to healthcare, transportation, and voting for Americans who are blind or have low vision. A complete archive will be available soon, for anyone who missed the live conversation. As promised, here are some of the resources shared by the presenter and attendees:

In this special edition of AFB's Inform & Connect podcast, Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum discussed the Flatten Inaccessibility research report, the culmination of survey findings from 1,921 U.S. participants who are blind (65%) or have low vision (35%).

The Flatten Inaccessibility report examined the impact of COVID-19 on 1,921 adults with visual impairments and the Access and Engagement survey examined the impact of COVID-19 on the education of 455 children and 1,028 teachers of students with visual impairments and orientation and mobility specialists.