NEW YORK (February 13, 2018)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced that the Envision Research Institute (ERI) will receive the esteemed 2018 Corinne Kirchner Research Award, which honors individuals or organizations whose leadership and dedication illuminate the most pressing needs of people with vision loss through timely, innovative, and authoritative research.

ERI conducts research that is critical to addressing practical issues in the clinical treatment and rehabilitation of persons who are blind or have low vision. The company’s research is dedicated to investigating the functional implications of vision loss, early screening, and access to treatments; optimizing rehabilitation therapies; and developing accessibility technology. ERI’s unique and innovative platform has contributed significantly to the visual welfare of the public and fosters ongoing advancements in public health. The valuable information and results gathered by ERI scientists and postdoctoral fellows is shared with agencies in the United States and around the world that are similarly committed to ERI’s mission to offer treatment and rehabilitation to those with visual impairments. ERI is a subdivision of Envision, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas, which provides direct services to people who are blind or have low vision.

“AFB is honored to recognize the Envision Research Institute for its stellar contributions to the field of blindness and low vision,” said Kirk Adams, president and CEO of AFB. “We are very proud of the accomplishments and strides this group has made in their research to pave the way for people with vision loss to live more independently.”

The Corinne Kirchner Research Award will be presented on April 7, 2018, at the AFB Leadership Conference in Oakland, California.

Corinne Kirchner, Ph.D., was the national leader of demographic, evaluation, and other research in the blindness field during her tenure at AFB. Her work addressed education, employment, health, “livable communities,” computer usage, and the area for which she is perhaps best known: the demographics of vision loss. AFB established the Corinne Kirchner Research Award in 2007 in her honor, as Dr. Kirchner’s groundbreaking research set the benchmark against which much of the subsequent research in the field has been compared.

Past recipients of the Corinne Kirchner Research Award include Dr. Kirchner herself (2007) and
John E. Crews, D.P.A. (2015)
Jane N. Erin, Ph.D. (2014)
Duane R. Geruschat, Ph.D. (2012)
Kay Ferrell, Ph.D. (2009)


About The American Foundation for the Blind
Founded in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that creates a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. Visit:

About the AFB Leadership Conference
The 2018 AFB Leadership Conference, cohosted by San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Northern California Chapter of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, provides a forum in which leadership personnel in the blindness field can increase their awareness of student and client needs, expand their knowledge, refine leadership skills, and share concerns and strategies. The event is sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Delta Gamma Foundation, Facebook, Google, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Microsoft, APH, and Sprint, among others.