Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

The Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness (JVIB) is the international journal of record on blindness and visual impairment. Approximately 35% of our authors reside outside of North America, and countless readers live around the world. I, therefore, strive to write a monthly editorial that contains information that is relevant to the broadest possible audience. Some months, I do better than others. Unfortunately, the frightening decay--some would say collapse--of economic activity around the world affects all JVIB readers. Its impact on services is starting to be felt. Funding streams are quickly drying up. Philanthropic activity is down, with many agencies that rely on annual gifts seeing a reduction in funding from both government and private sources. The biggest impact may be a reduction in job opportunities for people who are visually impaired. In the United States, the impact of lost jobs has been forcing immigrants from Central and South America to return to their homelands. For the few jobs that remain, employers, faced with hundreds of applications for the same position, seem to be less likely to hire anyone with visual impairments when they have other choices. At times like these, everyone has the potential to suffer, but the disability community unfortunately usually leads the way. Our responsibility is to prepare our clients and students for work, teaching specific skills and techniques that are the foundation of competitive employment.

This month, we feature information on three of the primary issues that affect those whom we serve: literacy, mobility, and access to technology. This month's column written in celebration of the life of Louis Braille comes from Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind. Dr. Maurer describes his life with braille, sharing the challenges and opportunities that come from having access to this unique literacy medium.

The lead article comes from France and examines the issue of mobility, specifically, using models to enhance knowledge of spatial environments by adults with visual impairments. …

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