Approved by the Board of Trustees
June 15, 2017
AFB's strategic imperative served as the guiding statement to provide direction for the development of the key elements of AFB's strategy:
AFB will cultivate in-depth and actionable knowledge and promote understanding of issues affecting children, working-age adults, and older people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB will achieve these ends by promoting and undertaking research that has scalable impact, developing and effectively communicating high-quality knowledge, and pursuing strategic relationships with peers, policymakers, employers, and other influencers in order to engender and accelerate systemic advancement. Priority issue areas may include: education, vocational rehabilitation and workforce participation, vision loss and aging, and technology.
This strategic imperative informs AFB's mission and the development of corresponding objectives and initiatives.
A "mission" serves to provide an enduring statement of organizational purpose and expresses the overall aims of an organization. The mission statement for AFB going forward is as follows:
The mission of the American Foundation for the Blind is to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. We mobilize leaders, advance understanding, and champion impactful policies and practices using research and data.
The values of an organization are intended to guide its internal and external culture and decision-making. The values drafted by AFB's Employee Communications Council are:
- Recognized excellence: Expert leadership and innovation to enable people with visual impairments to maximize their potential
- Commitment to integrity: Dedication to high-quality work and high ethical standards
- Respect: Valuing all people as individuals and as members of our community
- Inclusion: Ensuring equal access and opportunity for all people, especially people with vision loss
- Supportiveness: Moving forward together as an organization through advocacy, innovation, and celebration
- Collaboration: Honoring diversity and combining skills to maximize collective impact
AFB will further reflect on these values and how they may be advanced to further align with AFB's new strategic direction.
Four objectives to support AFB's revised mission were also identified. Together, these objectives present a high-level picture of how AFB will achieve its mission. Specifically, the four objectives are:
- Produce knowledge
- Promote understanding
- Shape policy and practice, and
- Pursue organizational effectiveness.
Details around each of these objectives appear below.
Objective 1: Produce Knowledge
Prioritizing a consumer-centered approach with scalable impact, AFB will pursue and catalyze forward-looking knowledge generation on key issues facing people who are blind or visually impaired by fostering collaborations with institutions of higher education and other research organizations, and by conducting limited independent research. Priority issue areas may include (but are not limited to) policy research and applied research in: education, meaningful employment and social/economic mobility, rehabilitation services, aging and vision loss, demographic trends, and technology.
Objective 2: Promote Understanding
With a focus on proactive methods of dissemination, AFB will work to ensure that policymakers, business leaders, professional communities, and public interest advocates have a deep and nuanced understanding of the key trends, challenges, and opportunities facing people who are blind or visually impaired, for the purposes of influencing attitudes and transforming institutional practice.
Objective 3: Shape Policy and Practice
AFB will focus on building and maintaining strategic public and private sector relationships, coalitions, and networks, cultivating its role as a trusted expert advisor and consensus builder, in order to bring about crucial changes to public policies and institutional practices.
Objective 4: Pursue Organizational Effectiveness
AFB will strengthen business practices, steward resources, and cultivate and manage talent to ensure an effective, nimble, and financially sound organization.