Giving Thanks

November 21, 2017
Kirk Adams is president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. Every Thanksgiving, I like to take inventory of everything I have to be grateful for. This year, my list is longer than ever. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet with so many people around the country this year who are working hard to create a better world. People like Caitlin, a blind elementary school teacher in San Francisco. James, a software engineer in Phoenix, who recently became blind and is…

2017 Gift Ideas for Friends and Family Members Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

November 14, 2017
As we approach the holiday season, we start trying to find gift ideas that will surprise and delight the people we love most. If you have close friends or family members who are blind, visually impaired, or losing their sight, explore these updated gift guides from the American Foundation for the Blind. AFB has pulled together appropriate, useful, fun gift ideas for all ages—from very young children to working-age adults to seniors who are gradually losing their vision. Before you start…
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Celebrating Larry B. Kimbler for His Many Years of Service to AFB

October 31, 2017
It often takes a personal connection to fully appreciate how much someone who is blind or visually impaired can accomplish in their lives—and the challenges they might face in the process. That was the case for Larry B. Kimbler, who just completed his second term on AFB’s national Board of Trustees, serving for the last four years as board chair. Years ago, one of Kimbler’s daughters went to school with a young woman who lost her vision when she was 12 years old. Fortunately, the girl’s…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Personal Reflections

American Foundation for the Blind Statement on the Department of Education Rescinding Guidance Documents on Students' Rights

October 22, 2017
Last Friday, October 20, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) announced that it had rescinded 72 federal guidance documents relating to children's rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. OSERS wrote in a newsletter Friday that a total of 72 guidance documents that help clarify students' rights had been rescinded on October 2 "due to being outdated, unnecessary, or…

Deepening My Understanding of Social Security, Advocacy, and Disability Rights

October 17, 2017
I have always loved the idea of working in the policy and research field. As a former teacher of students with deafblindness, I figured out pretty quickly that while I could make a big difference for the students in my classroom, I had very little power to help the students in a school down the street, a school across the state, or a school across the country. I imagined working in the policy field was where I could make the most difference, where I could be a part of the systems change…

Dispelling Misconceptions About Blindness at the 2017 San Diego Maker Faire

October 12, 2017
Kirk Adams and I were pleased to participate in a variety of activities during the 2017 San Diego Maker Faire in Balboa Park, October 7 and 8. In conjunction with Dr. Melissa Ganus of Quality of Life Experiments, I participated in the Human Library on October 7 at the San Diego Museum of Man. Several individuals representing a variety of communities were brought together to serve as living books to be checked out. The concept was to provide a nonthreatening environment in which people could…

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

October 5, 2017
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…

Breaking News: AFB Applauds Senate Action on Autonomous Vehicles Legislation Benefiting People with Vision Loss

October 1, 2017
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) applauds Senators John Thune, Gary Peters, Roy Blunt, and Debbie Stabenow for introducing the American Vision for Safer Transportation through Advancement of Revolutionary Technologies (AV START) Act (S. 1885). This groundbreaking bipartisan bill was passed out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation this morning, and includes many specific provisions drafted by AFB that address our concerns about the earlier House…

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

September 20, 2017
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,…

North Texas Community Comes Together to Benefit the AFB Center on Vision Loss

September 14, 2017
We did it! Thanks to all of you the AFB Center on Vision Loss (CVL) reached the $5,000 challenge goal during North Texas Giving Day on September 14 . In addition, our generous challenge grant donors contributed another $5,000 when we hit the goal! In total, you helped us raise $13,025 benefitting the Center on Vision Loss. The AFB Center on Vision Loss focuses on increasing the numbers of persons with visual impairment served in the North Texas region. Funding from the giving day will go to…