2021 ACB Virtual Conference

Plans are coming together for a great virtual conference and convention to be held July 16 through July 23, 2021.  We learned much from our 2020 virtual conference and convention and we are working hard to apply that knowledge to 2021!

ACB conference logo- Better Together Wherever We Are

Registration will remain open to June 28, 2021, but before you register, there is an important task each of you must undertake if you plan on registering:

  • ACB is moving ever closer to a singular login and password that will apply to all ACB websites and web-based functions.
  • If you intend on registering for the convention this year, please go to to create your ACB account.  Select “CREATE AN ACCOUNT” and complete the profile information requested.  You will need to create a new username and password (if you wish, you can use the same username and password you used for past conventions when creating this new account).
  • There is one exception: If you registered for the ACB Holiday Auction in December 2020, you have already created an account and you do not have to do so again.
  • If you have problems or questions regarding this process, please call the Minnesota Finance Office at 612-332-3242.
  • You will use this new username and password when you register on or after May 20, 2021.

To make sure you receive the most up to date information, subscribe to our convention announce list by sending a blank email to or contact Janet Dickelman, convention coordinator at or by phone at (651) 428-5059.


New CEO Affinity Group – June 28

Claudia Virga headshot

Are your messages getting lost, overlooked, or even misunderstood? Claudia Virga is our guest presenter for this meeting. She will walk us through her CHAT System methodology that will help solve your communication problems. To really connect, you have to speak to others in their language and their style. And the key to that puzzle is the CHAT Communication System where you’ll learn how to maximize your communication with your team, colleagues, and clients, your marketing, and your presentations by leveraging all four distinct communication styles.

If you haven’t already, register for the next New CEO Affinity Group meeting on Monday June 28th at 3:00pm EDT.

Open to members only. See the last eNews for the registration link.


National Registry for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments Launches

Success Beyond Sight logo

Success Beyond Sight, (SBS), a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has created a FREE National Registry (NRTSVI) for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TSVIs/TVIs) to empower a national voice for TSVIs/TVIs and to provide a means to reach, on a national level, TSVIs/TVIs with free resources and important professional information.


Success Beyond Sight recognizes the crucial role that TSVIs/TVIs play in the long-term success of their students. Strong instruction and mentorship by TSVIs/TVIs are common denominators for many highly accomplished adults who were born without vision or who lost their vision as children.

Because TSVIs/TVIs are licensed / credentialed / certified / endorsed in their state of practice, there has not been a Registry recognizing them as a nationally important profession demonstrating the power of their numbers. SBS formed an Advisory Board to help guide the development of the NRTSVI. Advisory Board members are Dr. Laura Bozeman, Dr. Rona Pogrund, Dr. Amy Parker, Dr. Cheryl Kamei-Hannan, Jill Brown and Dr. Nicole Johnson.

SBS is providing FREE access to the Journal of Vision Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) for all Registrants. JVIB is the resource for peer-reviewed research and articles for professionals serving individuals who are blind or have low vision.

TSVIs/TVIs will be able to be directly engaged with, and have a voice in, national discussions regarding:

  • the funding needed to train current and future professionals and to secure the survival of this very important profession
  • efforts to ensure sufficient funding for all students who require specialized services from a TSVI/TVI
  • the sharing of important information and opportunities to be included in relevant surveys and research to benefit the profession
  • appropriate caseloads
  • legislative advocacy

SBS recognizes that there are important professional membership organizations that provide TSVIs/TVIs a voice among other professional voices, but the Registry will provide the forum for TSVIs/TVIs to be highly visible and have their own unique voice on the national stage.

Participating in the Registry is voluntary. For questions or additional information email:


Vision Impairment and Eye Diseases among Nursing Home Residents Data Webinar

AVLNC Data and Research Committee logo

The Prevalence of Vision Impairment and Eye Diseases among Nursing Home Residents: The Delaware Study. 
This webinar, being held on Wednesday, June 16th from 4-5 pm EDT, will present the findings of comprehensive eye examinations of 2019 residents of nursing homes in the state of Delaware. The findings show an exceedingly high prevalence of eye diseases, and nearly 50% of the residents had vision impairment and 15% were blind.  This presentation will compare findings with other nursing home studies, and policy and practice implications of the findings will be discussed. Learn more and register for the data webinar.


AVLNC Awareness Campaign Resources

If you cant see something, say something flyer image

Aging and Vision Loss Three Year Plan


To ensure all older people with vision loss receive high quality comprehensive specialized vision rehabilitation including low vision services by focusing the healthcare, aging and vision rehabilitation communities on:

  • the unique challenges of the combined experience of vision loss and aging;
  • the impact of that combined event on the socio-economic life of our nation; and
  • the need to work together to advance research, policy & funding that maximizes the positive contributions of older people living with vision loss.


The combined aging and vision rehabilitation expertise in collaboration with consumers and advocacy partners uniquely positions AVLNC to engage the aging, healthcare and vision rehabilitation networks in essential program and policy changes.

Three-Year Target

by December 31, 2023

  • AVLNC will have strategic alliances with national partners and policy champions who agree to include aging & vision loss in federal legislation and other policy documents
  • The Surgeon General will issue a report on the Impact of Aging and Vision Loss based upon the recommendations that came out of the NASEM workshops
  • Vision-related research recommended by NASEM will be underway; some completed and in report status for Surgeon General consideration
  • A national interagency committee on Aging & Vision Loss will be established and meeting in a meaningful way (in accordance with the 2016 NASEM recommendations)
  • Older people with vision loss are included as a targeted population in aging policy, public health initiatives (i.e. Healthy People 2030) and health coverage
  • Eyecare professionals recognize that vision rehabilitation is a part of the continuum of care and appropriate referrals are made routinely
  • Older people with vision loss are trained & mobilized to advocate for policy change
  • Federal funding for older people with blindness and low vision will be increased; at a minimum OIB Funding will be increased tenfold and regular cost of living increases thereafter will have been enacted
  • Other funding at state and local levels will be available and utilized by community-based vision rehabilitation providers
  • The field of Vision Rehabilitation will have adopted practice and program standards
  • Outcome measures will be collected routinely by vision rehabilitation providers and shared with research partners for the purposes of establishing evidence-                                                   based programs
  • Federal grants will be available again for the establishment of new community-based vision rehabilitation programs in severely underserved parts of the nation
  • University programs for eyecare, occupational therapy, geriatrician & gerontology professionals will include aging and vision loss curricula and facilitate practicum opportunities in community-based vision rehabilitation programs; and those for vision rehabilitation will include specific aging curricula
  • Best practices for the combination of Aging & Vision Rehabilitation Services will have been established, rolled out and accepted by both professional networks
  • Clinical data on eye disease/condition and acuity/specific vision loss will be routinely collected nationally and reported (including counting all older people with vision loss)
  • National Awareness Campaign on Aging & Vision Loss (based upon the Frameworks Institute recommendations) is funded, executed and adopted by national partners
  • The National Policy Collaborative will have a joint legislative agenda on Aging & Vision Loss

Targeted Sector/Market Segments:

  • Eyecare professionals: ophthalmologists and optometrists
  • Other Medical professionals: geriatricians and gerontologists and OT’s
  • Aging Policy Makers: Administration on Community Living (including CIL’s), National council on Aging, National Area Agencies on Aging, Gerontological Society of America, AARP, Area Agencies on Aging, Long-term Care Providers, Assisted Living
  • Healthcare Policy Makers: CDC, NEI, NIH, CMS, Surgeon General, Home Healthcare Agencies and staff
  • Older People (including those with vision loss) and Their Families
  • Elected Officials at the federal and state levels
  • ACB, NFB, BVA, FFB, NOAH (Consumer Associations)
  • Research Partners including NASEM and CDC
  • Universities with Relevant Personnel Preparation Programs
  • Vision Rehabilitation Community: Community-based service providers, national organizations, RSA, DOE, state agencies, TAC’s

Two-Year Picture

by December 31, 2022

  • AER Higher Education Accreditation Commission (HEAC) will have mandated a comprehensive aging curricula
  • The Coalition will have developed the framework and hired the firm for the National Awareness Campaign
  • Substantive communication with the AD Council will have occurred and application submitted
  • Will be presenting at all relevant major Aging Conferences
  • National vision rehabilitation service/outcome data will have started being collected
  • The Coalition will have established a collaborative relationship with at least 6 National Organizational Partners
  • The Congressional Vision Caucus will have established an Aging Focus
  • Vision-related research recommended by NASEM will be underway
  • A Surgeon General’s Report on Aging & Vision Loss will be in discussion
  • The Coalition will be conducting/coordinating Consumer Advocacy Training
  • Will have established a relationship with the Congressional Physicians Caucus
  • Funding mechanism in place to support the AVLNC Initiatives
  • Will have developed the OIB Cost of Living strategy and language and supported by the blindness community

One Year Plan

December 31, 2021

One-Year Plan: January 1 – December 31, 2021


AVLNC Steering Committee and VSA AVLNC Staff,Co-Chaired by Lauren Branch, NewView Oklahoma and Lee Nasehi, VSA; Mark Richert, Ben Leigh and New Specialist Position –

Public Awareness Committee, Co-Chaired by Sylvia Perez, MSU OIB-TAC, and Nancy Miller, VISIONS

Policy & Funding Committee, Co-Chaired by Mark Richert, VSA/AERBVI, and Pris Rogers, AFB/Advocate

  • Develop supporting materials and tools for use with the Coalition and related stakeholders, e.g. one-pagers to comprise a take action toolkit; start development of advocacy training program for older people with vision loss.

Data & Research Committee, Co-Chaired by John Crews, retired CDC, and Jaclyn Borchardt, Vision Forward

Access to Quality Vision Rehabilitation Services Committee, Co-Chaired by Neva Fairchild, AFB and AERBVI, and Elly duPre, FASB and AERBVI

  • repare a tool kit, and recruit people locally to present at Aging Network Conferences, on the screening tool developed by New View Oklahoma. Spreading the word about the screening tool and what the ROI of using it is.

2021 Committee Q1 Rocks

Awareness Committee Objectives

  1. MSU select ad agency for the campaign by Jan. 1, 2021
  2. Reach out to the Reframing Institute to get feedback for the campaign. Include AVLC info as well. (Jan. 30, 2021)
  3. Enlist 50 agencies to disseminate the awareness flyer to their aging and social service networks and track results of referrals-start with VSA members (Feb. 1, 2021, for dissemination and report back results on 8/1/2021)
  4. Develop awareness campaign and toolkit (MSU) and disseminate (7/1/2021)
  5. Ensure that at least 50 agencies in 10 states have the awareness toolkit and training on how to promote awareness and use the tools. (Nov. 1, 2021)      

Funding and Policy Committee Objectives

  1. To complete an aging and vision loss “message bill” that includes components that provide comprehensive services and supports to promote independence and quality of life for older people with vision loss (and find sponsor or support)—including determining ask for OIB funding and needed language changes in the ACT and get buy-in from blindness advocacy groups – (03/15/21)
  2. Building relationships with key stakeholder partners (build connections with other coalitions, such as Prevent Blindness as relates to Vision Caucus about specific asks
  3. Development of supporting materials and tools for us and related stakeholders—one-pagers as part of take action toolkit and start development of an advocacy training program for older people with vision loss – (06/01/21)

Data & Research Committee

  • Schedule first seminar on data driven science.
  • Establish Subcommittee to start research article search and compilation of list of suggested articles for bibliography, group to compile at least 10 articles.
  • Hold Initial meetings with key people currently working on outcomes.

Access to Quality Services

  • Create a screening tool to share and help train the aging network
    • Used in tandem with Awareness Committee to build relationships with partners in the aging network
  • Creating a standardized course through MSU to teach an approved curriculum
  • Create a relationship with partners about standardized
  • Conversation with local partners on who on their staff could benefit from a free online course on improved standardized services from MSU
    • TVI, CVRT, certified professionals
    • Test with early adopters
  • No wrong door
    • Expanding the ways in which resources can be accessed through aging, medical, vision “doors”
  • Federal qualified health centers looking to expand eye care – Community Health Centers
    • Getting them connects with resources to refer to LV/Blindness
    • Many do not know what resources are available for eyecare beyond basics (glasses/refractory)
  • Identify care centers with ophthalmologists/optometrists on staff
    • Gather how many hours/services they offer
    • Share quality (benefits/$$$) of expanding eyecare to LV/blindness and referral services to LV rehab local services
    • Demonstrate ROI to LV/blindness involvement