FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Adrianna Montague, American Foundation for the Blind
Anne Durham, American Printing House for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) Partner for a Future of No Limits for People Who Are Blind
APH to Provide Ongoing Stewardship for Key Programs Founded by AFB
Washington, DC (February 7, 2018)—Today, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) announced a partnership with the mutual goal of generating substantial impact on the lives of children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. APH will become the steward of several key programs founded by AFB and assume responsibility for ensuring their continued impact. AFB will take the work to a new level by investing in policy and programs focused on creating stronger social systems, and ultimately a more inclusive, accessible society for people with vision loss. These complementary strategies will ensure that people who are blind or have low vision can live a life of no limits, recognizing that the future belongs to everyone.
This decision comes following extensive strategic planning by both organizations. The partnership gives APH the opportunity to expand its lifelong learning offerings and gives AFB the opportunity to expand its influence on the research and policies that impact the lives of people with vision loss.
APH will become the caretakers of:
AFB Press – a program that publishes textbooks for college and university programs and professional books for teachers, researchers, and other professionals. The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) will remain in the care of AFB.
VisionAware – an online program that helps adults who are losing their sight continue to live full and independent lives by providing timely information, step-by-step daily living techniques, and a supportive online community.
FamilyConnect – an online program that gives parents of children who are visually impaired a place to find resources and support each other.
CareerConnect – an online program that provides employment information, career-exploration tools, and job-seeking guidance for individuals with vision loss and professionals who work with them.
BrailleBug – an online program that teaches children about braille through games and activities and provides resources to teachers and parents.
Both organizations are committed to a smooth transition and will be working in close partnership for several months.
“We are proud of what we have accomplished in partnership with so many in the field. This work has brought us to this crossroads where it is necessary for AFB to assume a stronger and more active voice in decisions that impact the broader world, particularly in the areas of education, employment, and aging and vision loss,” explains Kirk Adams, President and CEO of AFB. “We are excited about our new direction and optimistic about what the future holds for people who are blind or visually impaired. Our partnership with APH is a win-win for the people we serve.”
“Learning is critical to improving the lives of everyone across the life spectrum. Quality information is key for providing opportunities for employment, education and ultimately, happiness,” says Craig Meador, President of APH. “We are committed to continuing the standards of credibility and excellence established by AFB while evolving and growing these programs to keep them relevant in the 21st century knowledge economy.”
Both organizations are realigning priorities in response to the growing needs of children and adults who are blind and visually impaired. There are more than 25 million Americans with vision loss and those numbers are expected to grow as the population ages. As more people become blind or visually impaired, as schools experience a shortage of teachers trained to teach students with vision loss, as the economy and workforce changes, and as accessibility becomes even more essential to workforce training and technologies, service organizations are relying on new partnerships and sharing resources to provide the necessary supports and systems for people to succeed today and in the future.
The mission of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. Learn more at www.afb.org.
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) designs innovative lifelong learning solutions for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. In this fast-changing world, APH levels the learning playing field by providing specialized technology, materials, products, information, and services that are essential for education and life. Learn more at www.aph.org