To Members/ From Members

eNews 2021 Issue 13

The Journey Forward Study

AFB is launching their new study are calling this new study The Journey Forward: Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic by Blind and Low Vision Adults. The study is available July 13 and will close August 9.

Flatten Inaccessibility report cover

The Journey Forward study will continue the story begun with the Flatten Inaccessibility study. Read the report in which the authors examined the impact of COVID-19 on 1,921 adults with visual impairments in the United States. Though data were collected in April 2020, the systemic issues and challenges related to COVID-19 must be addressed in order to ensure equal access for all. [Read the report online], or download and share the accessible PDF

Job Postings

Expanding Possibilities for People with Profound Blindness

The Chicago Lighthouse’s groundbreaking work is at the forefront of advancing the possibilities for people with low vision. In partnership with the Illinois Institute of Technology, they are in the first phase of a clinical trial that will investigate the visual perceptions via an implant for people with profound blindness. Individuals who lost their vision as an adult, but who had a normal or near-normal vision for at least the first ten years of life may be eligible to participate. Additional inclusion and exclusion criteria will apply. To learn more about the clinical trial and participation eligibility, visit or call (312) 567-5304.

ICVP - Intracortical Visual Prosthesis

U.S. Goalball Teams Announced For Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

The United States Association of Blind Athletes has revealed the 12 athletes selected to represent Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the sport of goalball. The announcement was made Wednesday at Turnstone Center, an official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and home to the Goalball Center of Excellence and the USA Goalball Resident Athlete Training Program. See the full press release on the USA Goal Ball team.

2020 USA Paralympics Goal Ball teams , men and women's.

Aging and Vision Loss Summit

An intimate group of professionals discussing aging and vision loss hosted by Florida Agencies Serving the blind.

Florida ASB logo

Florida ASB is thrilled to announce the new date for the official Aging and Vision Loss Summit Monday, May 16th, 2022. Please check your calendars and register now for the new date via the new Eventbrite invitation. 

Event information: 

A small, interactive group discussing aging and vision loss.

  •  9 AM – 10 AM:  Meet and greet and vendor showcase
  • 10 AM – 12 Noon:  Interactive Group Discussions 
  • 12:00 – 12:30: LUNCH—box lunches. 
  •  12:30 – 2 PM:  Sharing of Groups’ Conclusions, Thoughts, Action Plans
  •  2 PM – 3 PM: Networking and vendor showcase  

eNews 2021 Issue 12

Employment Barriers for the Blind & Visually Impaired


Employment Barriers for the blind and visually impaired can range from a wide variety of reasons from lack of transportation to negative attitudes from employers. It is no secret that the unemployment rate for the blind and visually impaired is higher than the average population, even within the disability community. With the unemployment rate for the blind and visually impaired at over 70%, there are so many barriers that can attribute to this number that can feel vast and overwhelming. But that is exactly why World Services for the Blind does what we do! We even have an 85% employment rate for graduates of our career training programs.

Employment Barriers for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Sharing Smiles from The FMDG Music School

View two highlight videos from this June:  one is a CMPYP sampler and the first video shows the FMDG first foray into virtual video production.  The musical arrangement and karaoke on video #2 was created by one of their wonderful teachers who is blind, and the featured teen group, the GuavaTones, was choreographed and coached by one of their alum who has low vision. 

NOAH Research Program Issues Inaugural Call For Proposals

NOAH is THRILLED to announce that they have officially launched their first call for proposals to support research on the visual system in albinism!

NOAH-research-program logo

The Summer 2021 Call for Proposals aims to fund up to a total of $100,000 in research, through both an Established Researcher Program and a Pilot Grant/New Innovations Program. To support this exciting initiative or learn more about the request for proposals, visit:

College Success @ Perkins Tech Series

College Success @ Perkins logo

The Reading Brain in a Digital Culture – Promise and Concerns, featuring Dr. Maryanne Wolf

Wednesday, June 23rd at 3 p.m. Eastern

College Success @ Perkins presents Tech, Literacy and Educational Equity: Exploring What’s Next and Necessary for College-aspiring Learners with Blindness and Low Vision, a two-part webinar series that will connect you with leading experts to explore the crucial intersection of technology and learning in 2021 and beyond. 

Register now for the first session, “The Reading Brain in a Digital Culture – Promise and Concerns,” a lecture and interactive discussion with renowned children’s literacy advocate Dr. Maryanne Wolf, along with a panel of blindness experts who will discuss the implications of current research on the reading brain for students with blindness and visual impairments.  

And save the date for the second session on July 21, featuring Dr. Yue-Ting Siu, TVI and assistant professor in the Program for Visual Impairments in the Department of Special Education at San Francisco State University. 

eNews 2021 Issue 11

Ablr Blog – Proud Member of VisionServe Alliance

Ablr logo

“According to John Samuel, Ablr’s CEO and Co-founder, he believes there is a natural alignment between the mission of VisionServe Alliance and Ablr, and sees the value of being part of the consortium. “Because I had faced significant challenges in my own life, as a result of losing my sight, it drove me to launch Ablr, and it’s why we offer disability inclusion and accessibility services. I feel like there are a lot of great organizations, like ourselves, who are doing amazing things, but we are doing it in silos. However, if we were able to work together, we would be able to do it even more at a bigger scale, and the beneficiaries of this will be the actual people in the blind community.” Read the Ablr Blog

Access and Engagement Report & Focus Groups

Access and Engagement survey logo

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) announced the release of the second Access and Engagement research report, based on the November 2020 survey that delved into the continued impact of COVID-19 on the education of students with visual impairments, their families, and the professionals who serve them. The report is a detailed and expanded follow-up to the first Access and Engagement study, published in October 2020 based on data from 1,432 participants collected in spring 2020 during the early days of the pandemic.

Participants still needed for 3rd study

A study, Reflections About the Education of Students with Visual Impairments Across the Year-Long COVID-19 Pandemic, is currently underway, with researchers from AFB, the University of South Carolina Upstate, and The Ohio State University conducting a series of focus groups and short surveys to gather information from a broad section of individuals including families, administrators, teenagers and young adults with visual impairments, as well as educators. Please share this focus group info with your clients, staff, and stakeholders. Available until the end of June. Share the flyer with stakeholders: English flyer Spanish flyer

Focus on Eye Health National Summit

Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health  National Summit logo

On July 14-15, 2021, Prevent Blindness will host the 10th annual Focus on Eye Health National Summit as a virtual interactive event. (Due to the current COVID-19 health crisis, the 2021 event will be held as an online event only.) Register Today for free!

Opening Keynote Presentation:
Michael F. Chiang, MD, Director, National Eye Institute

Keynote Presentation: Adversity is My Superpower
Amy Dixon, Paralympic Athlete & President, Glaucoma Eyes International

Keynote Presentation: The Role of Public Health in Advancing Eye Health
Ross C. Brownson, PhD, Lipstein Distinguished Professor of Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis

For details about the event and agenda, visit

AER Division 1 Webinar Series

You’re invited! The fourth and final session in the AERBVI Division 1 webinar series for 2020-21 on Managing from the Middle is scheduled for Thursday, June 17th, from 4-5:00PM. Pre-registration is required at  Please share this information with your staffs, university students, and school/agency colleagues as appropriate, and feel free to contact with questions. Registration is free to AER and VSA members. See your inbox for the promo code.

Kevin O'Connor headhsot

Collaboration: The Final “C” in Strengthening Management Skills and Thinking Like a Leader will be presented by widely acclaimed professional speaker, teacher, parent, and writer Mr. Kevin O’Connor. This session follows the previous three webinars on Competency, Communication and Connections, and will complete this year’s webinar series developed by AER’s Administration and Leadership Division.  Attendance at the first three sessions in the series is not required to register for this webinar. Kevin is both an inspiring and provocative speaker, and not to be missed!

Nancy Miller Receives Cornell HEROS Award

Nancy miller Headshot

Congratulations to VSA member, Nancy Miller, CEO of VISIONS/Services For The Blind for winning the Human Ecology Recognizing Outstanding Examples of Service (HEROS) award. View the Cornell recognition page.

APH Virtual ExCel Academy Events

Few the full list of webinars and other resources on the APH ExCel Academy website

APH Virtual ExCel Academy logo banner

June 10, 2021, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
Multiply Your Success at Math and Exams with MATT Connect  

With MATT Connect, it all adds up! Learn how the MATT Connect can be used to study math from addition and subtraction to higher level problem solving. In this webinar, we will also learn how to set up exam mode, which allows a teacher to customize permissions on features offered on the MATT Connect.  Register Here 

June 11, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST
Loop there it is! Repetition is key to learning with Code Jumper

Repetition is a key component of learning any new skill. In this webinar, we’ll explore how keeping a Computer Science journal can activate and reinforce skills learned during Code Jumper lessons. Get in the habit of coding while we explore repetition in coding with Lesson 6: Loops. Register Here
June 15, 2021, 11:30 – 1:00 PM EST
Prevent Document Frustration: JAWS and PDFs

Are PDFs a pain? Get the Adobe advantage! In this webinar, we will address ways to navigate Adobe Acrobat PDF documents with JAWS, share useful keyboard commands to make reading easier, and show you how to use the JAWS feature Convenient OCR to read inaccessible PDFs. Register Here

NIB/NAEPB Training Conference and Expo

NIB logo

Mark your calendars for the annual NIB/NAEPB Training Conference and Expo, October 12-15, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia! This year’s event will include recognition of the 2021 class of Employee of the Year nominees, our popular Expo (tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of October 13), comprehensive training, and more. Stay tuned for more details. Questions? Contact