VisionAware Celebrates Its 5th Birthday

VisionAware launched five years ago as a free, easy-to-use, online resource for adults with vision loss, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, and social service professionals. Since VisionAware’s first year, we have grown exponentially! As the graph indicates, we have reached 4.3 million pages viewed this fiscal year alone and over 12 million pages viewed over the course of five years. VisionAware has had 6.6 million visitors during its lifetime.

A graph of VisionAware pageviews illustrating the website's steady growth throughout the past five years, ranging from about 750,000 pageviews in the first year to over 4 million in year five

VisionAware's content has also increased over the years. The site now includes 500 articles and 880 blog posts that provide vital information for people new to vision loss, their family members, and the professionals who serve them.

Behind the Scenes

Here is a peek "behind the scenes" of the VisionAware team, our staff and volunteers who keep the site humming, filling it with information that is important to our visitors and keeps them coming back.

headshot of Maureen Duffy

Maureen Duffy is the writer/editor of the VisionAware Blog and the chief content creator of the editorial content on VisionAware.org. She is the author of Making Life More Livable: Simple Adaptations for Living at Home After Vision Loss. This is what Maureen had to say about working with VisionAware:

"In late 2006, I was asked to be the Editorial Director of a startup website called VisionAware.org. I didn't know it then, but that position turned out to be the highlight of my professional life. I am still here after 10 years, and I am so very proud of what a powerhouse VisionAware has become. Our small but mighty startup was acquired by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) in 2012, after getting its start through Readers Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (read VisionAware's history), and I am forever grateful to the generous and talented AFB team that gave new life and vibrancy to our ‘little website that could.’ Thank you, AFB!"

VisionAware Contributors

Maribel on a roof holding onto a rail looking up at the camera

Maribel, peer advisor and international agency of the month coordinator

We have a long list of contributors, including many different types of experts:

  • doctors who volunteer their time to review our information
  • technology and diabetes experts
  • university professors and experts in the vision rehabilitation field
  • support group leaders

Another important and integral part of our site is the VisionAware Peer Advisor Life Support (PALS) Program, with over 25 peers, all of whom are blind or visually impaired. The peers author the Visually Impaired: Now What? blog, write and contribute to articles and blind parenting blogs, answer message boards, manage the support group area, and the international agency of the month—in short, they provide a wealth of information and experience of living with vision loss.

And last, but not least, are our web program staff, and web and communications teams who work on the admin side of the site!

Read New Posts from Our VisionAware Peers

Dave Steele bending over his dog, putting on the leash on the dog while outside in the yard

Dave with his dog guide

Mental Health and Visual Impairment: Peer Perspectives by Dave Steele and Holly Bonner

Dave has also written a great post for Father's Day which we will be featuring later in the month. Both of these posts include poems from Dave's book, "Stand by Me RP."

What's New on the VisionAware Blog

Read the VisionAware blog to find out the latest about research, eye conditions, and treatments. Here is a sample of the latest:

New Research: A Potential Eye Drop Treatment Could Take the Place of Injectable Drugs for Wet Macular Degeneration

Treating Macular Degeneration with Gene Therapy: New Research Shows Promise but Also Has Limitations

New Genetic Research in Diabetes Identifies a Protein That May Stop or Reduce Abnormal Blood Vessel Growth in the Retina

New Series on Disability

audrey in nursing uniform with her dog guide

Audrey Demmitt in her nursing uniform standing with her dog guide

The VisionAware Peers have just started a new series on "Understanding the Culture of Disability," led by Steven Wilson, disability studies student. The overview includes key concepts, a post on understanding the models of disability, and one on being invisible as a person with a disability by DeAnna Noriega.

Elder Abuse Month

June is Elder Abuse Month and Peer Advisor, Audrey Demmitt, R.N., has written an article on recognizing signs of elder abuse as well as a series on recognizing and responding to medical issues.

Be Sure to Celebrate Father's Day

To all of you dads, happy early Father’s Day! Sons and daughters, be sure to check our Father’s Day Gift Guide. Aira, an exciting new service for people who are blind or visually impaired, might be the perfect gift.

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