WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 16, 2019)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the hiring of a new Director of Research: Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum will start in her new role on January 6, 2020.

The position is a critical component of AFB’s Public Policy and Research team, which collaborates with policy makers in Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure Americans with vision loss have equal rights and opportunities to fully participate in society. Dr. Rosenblum will lend her expertise to help conduct and analyze research related to vision loss.

“Dr. Rosenblum’s extensive experience in research and academia prepares her exceptionally well for this crucial organizational role,” said Stephanie Enyart, AFB’s chief public policy and research officer. “We are delighted to welcome her to AFB's Public Policy and Research Center.”

Prior to joining AFB, Dr. Rosenblum was a Research Professor in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at the University of Arizona, where she has worked since 1999. She was the Project Director for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal 2 project, Animal Watch Vi: Building Graphics Literacy. She led the project team in developing an intervention to support pre-algebra students with visual impairments to build their skills to gather information from graphs and maps accurately and efficiently.

Also during her time at the University of Arizona, Dr. Rosenblum prepared teachers to work with students with visual impairments (TVIs). She coordinated teacher preparation programs in Arizona and Nevada.

As a person with low vision, Dr. Rosenblum is able to share firsthand information with future teachers about the impact of a visual impairment on the lives of children and adults. Dr. Rosenblum has been a teacher of children with visual impairments and multiple disabilities in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Arizona.

Dr. Rosenblum’s current projects include co-authoring Finding Wheels: Strategies to Build Independent Travel Skills for Those with Visual Impairments through Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Dr. Rosenblum has worked with colleague Dr. Tina Herzberg, at the University of South Carolina Upstate, to design a free, self-paced 11 module online professional development series for general educators and others who will have a student with a visual impairment in their classroom. She has been published in journals, written book chapters, produced a video for older adults who are becoming nondrivers, and designed curricula. She regularly presents workshops at conferences throughout the United States.

Dr. Rosenblum holds a bachelor’s degree from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania; a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee; and a doctorate from the University of Arizona, where her dissertation examined the best friendships of 40 adolescents with visual impairment.


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 steward the Helen Keller Archive, maintain and expand the digital collection, and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. Visit: www.afb.org