AFB's Public Policy and Research Institute strives to accurately and persuasively understand and describe the characteristics, experiences, needs, and capabilities of people who are blind or visually impaired.

Photo of Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum . She is a white woman with short hair wearing a white shirt and glasses smiling at the camera. On July 20, my inbox and Facebook feed were filled with posts about Paralympian swimmer Becca Meyers, who is deafblind due to Usher’s Syndrome. Her reasonable request to have a personal care assistant with her during the Paralympics was denied by the U.S.

GAAD logo.
Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD)! The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion. From podcasts and blog posts, to inclusive accessibility solutions, public policy, and resources, AFB has you covered. Global accessibility is more than a day for us, it's 100 years of commitment.

On December 18, EdSurge, an educational technology company that publishes newsletters and operates databases used by venture capitalists, teachers, and school administrators, published a story titled “COVID-19 Is Costing Visually Impaired Students Time That Can’t Be Made Up.”

As the Director of Research at AFB, I spend 8-10 hours a day in front of a computer screen five days a week and often 10+ hours over the weekend. As someone with low vision, all that screen time is tough, especially when I have a visually demanding task or have to learn a new program. The latest one for me is Trello, a tool AFB is now using to track projects. Where exactly is the button I need to start a new project? It took me a lot longer to find it than my sighted colleagues. Frustrating!

Boy sits at table next to braille embosser. He is looking through tactile graphs. He wears a mask to avoid spreading viruses.

We know that families of blind and low vision children are still facing major challenges as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced many schools to move to online education.