Drafting a Blueprint for the Future

Dear Friend of AFB,

It is with great pride that I present to you the 2016 report on AFB’s accomplishments, our first since I assumed my new role as the organization’s president and CEO.

I must say at the outset how grateful I am for the opportunity to help further AFB’s remarkable legacy. Like so many others, both my upbringing and career paths were directly shaped by AFB’s broad and indelible influence.

Blind since age five, I can thank AFB for producing many of the materials and devices that made my education and social development possible. As a young professional in the vision loss field, I found that AFB presented growth opportunities and set inspiring examples for the kinds of goals I could strive toward and achieve.

Indeed, for as long as I can remember, it was AFB that unlocked a world of possibilities, for me and for generations of blind and visually impaired people.

This annual report is, on one level, a ringing affirmation of the continued relevance and vitality of AFB’s mission. Inside you will find examples of how our advocacy continues to break down multiple barriers to equality. And you’ll discover how our longstanding commitment to innovation is catalyzing ever-more dazzling breakthroughs in technology. As a result of our work, aging Americans are living more independent and productive lives.

On a deeper level, however, this document serves, as the title suggests, as a blueprint for a bold future.

In a rapidly changing world that threatens to leave behind the unprepared, AFB must strive harder to lead on issues like employment, education, and access to new technology. We must have a plan that builds upon our legacy and inspires our communities to welcome people with vision loss as equals, leaders, and contributors at every level.

Like any blueprint, this one represents a beginning—a mapping out of a more substantial reality to come. As we celebrate past accomplishments, let us also re ect upon goals and opportunities that lie ahead and the kind of organization we need to be to meet new challenges.

Again, my sincerest thanks to the AFB community for your support and well wishes as we embark on the next phase of this journey together. Here’s to new possibilities.

Best wishes,

Kirk Adams
President and CEO

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