AFB and APH Partner for a Future of No Limits for People Who Are Blind

Still from video message of Kirk Adams and Craig Meador

As a VisionAware subscriber, we wanted to make sure you saw this announcement of a major new partnership between AFB and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH). APH will be taking on the stewardship of VisionAware, CareerConnect, FamilyConnect, BrailleBug, and AFB Press. We are committed to a smooth transition for these critical programs, and the two organizations will be working in close partnership for several months. As Kirk Adams, President and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind and Craig Meador, President of the American Printing House for the Blind noted in their video message, AFB and APH have long been close partners, and we look forward to keeping all of these programs relevant, supportive, and strong. We will keep you posted as this transition progresses, and we welcome your questions and feedback.

For more information on this new partnership and AFB's changing strategic direction, check out these resources:

We’re Still Here For You! What’s New on VisionAware and at AFB

Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Low Vision Month

Lynda using acrobat to work on jewelry

February is age-related macular degeneration and low vision month. Be sure to read Lynda Lambert’s series on the steps she has taken to regain a creative life after experiencing vision loss. She thought she would have to totally give up her art, but with the help of low vision equipment (described in her post) she has been able to go forward and even win awards for her work.

Also, Steve Kelley, VisionAware peer advisor/contributor, has written about the intersection of technology, low vision, and quality of life. He cites research that indicates there is a very real chance that it is not the vision so much that will ultimately reduce the quality of our lives, but allowing ourselves to let go of those activities that have been so meaningful to us, feeling loss of control of our lives, and becoming depressed from the perception that our quality of life has diminished.

Finding Love as a Person with Vision Loss

Valentine’s Day has come and gone but online dating is probably here to stay! Find out more in posts by Kerry Kijewski and Jeannie Johnson as they share their experiences.

Braille—Six Dots That Make a Difference

Louis Braille’s birthday was in January, and braille just keeps getting better and easier to access. Find out more in these blog posts that cite recent advances in braille.

Learn More About Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Mary D’Apice, itinerant vision specialist, demystifies this syndrome that causes hallucinations in people with vision loss. She discusses her talks with consumers as she tells them, "You may be wide awake, but your eyes are dreaming."

Holman Prize Brings Two Blind Cooks Together

Maribel and Penny Melville-Brown standing together outside each wearing red clothing, image from Toby Melville

Holman Prize winner Penny Melville-Brown visited peer advisor Maribel Steel in Melbourne, Australia. Maribel tells the story of the two cooks in red taking over Maribel’s kitchen. The post includes a link to a video of this memorable event.

Every year, the Holman Prize funds the projects of three ambitious blind people from around the world. It’s not too late to apply for 2018. You have until Feb. 28!

Featured Support Group

This month Support Group Advisor, Audrey Demmitt, R.N., highlights the San Francisco Lighthouse Support Group commonly known as “Coffee with Mike”. Mike Cole, leader of the group, states the goal of his group is to “encourage members to assert their independence and to value themselves as blind people; we hope to normalize blindness.”

Lessons for Living with Vision Loss

Peer Advisor, Lynda Jones

Peer Advisor Lynda Jones, CVRT, has written a series of 19 lessons for living with vision loss for people new to vision loss and their families. Through this series of 19 lessons, available in English and Spanish, you will learn about your eye condition, ways to get around safely in your home, basic techniques to perform daily tasks, and much more. The lessons can be used to reinforce one-on-one lessons rehabilitation professionals provide at home or in group sessions. They are not meant as a substitute for vision rehabilitation training. Lynda will be glad to respond to questions submitted through the survey associated with each lesson.

Link to lessons in English

Link to lessons in Spanish

The Lessons for Living series was developed by AFB VisionAware through an award from the OIB-TAC at Mississippi State University. This sub-award is from a grant (#H177Z150003) funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) under the U.S. Department of Education.

House Passes HR 620

For those of you interested in keeping the Americans with Disabilities Act intact, please read AFB’s public policy statement about next steps on HR 620, which passed the House and now goes to the Senate. Your advocacy is greatly needed!

AFB Leadership Conference Hosts 2nd National Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss

The AFB Leadership Conference is being held in Oakland, CA, on April 5 through 7. Please visit the AFB conference page to view the agenda and registration information. During the conference, we will have several sessions on aging as well as a host of other topics. We will also host the 2nd National Conversation on Aging and Vision Loss to obtain input from older individuals with vision loss on the issues that affect them most. If you are unable to attend this session and would like to engage in the conversation, please fill in our national survey on aging and vision loss.

The Senior Center Without Walls will also be offering a national opportunity to weigh in at a teleconference on May 4th from 4:00-5:00 eastern.
To join by computer, click:
To join by phone, dial: (888) 974-9888 (US Toll Free)
Enter meeting ID: 788-788-7778 #

Visit to find out more about the 21st Century National Agenda on Aging and Vision Loss.

Thank You from AFB!

Thank you for being a VisionAware user. The staff and consultants at AFB trust that VisionAware will continue to be a valuable resource for you. If you are a person new to vision loss or a family member, we wish you the best in finding services and help for maintaining or regaining your independence. If you are a rehabilitation or health-related professional, we hope you continue to use VisionAware to find the helpful information and resources. It has been our privilege to serve you through VisionAware.

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