Hello and Welcome to the New VisionAware Blog

Hello to my old and new readers! This is Maureen Duffy, social media specialist for VisionAware and author of the new VisionAware blog.

Here’s a press release from American Foundation for the Blind that explains this innovative collaboration:

The new VisionAware logo. The words Vision and Aware are in blue, topped by a stylized eye design. It looks like a gray dot partially enclosed by a swooping line

… the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation (RDPFSF) have launched VisionAware.org, a free, easy-to-use informational website for adults with vision loss, their families, caregivers, healthcare providers, and social service professionals.

The new VisionAware combines two stand-alone resources from AFB and Partners for Sight (Senior Site and the former VisionAware, respectively) into a single, comprehensive website offering dynamic social networking and customized guidance for adults of all ages with rich content and practical tips on living with vision loss.

Visitors to the new VisionAware will find:

  • Free, practical tips and resources for adults with vision loss, their families, friends, caregivers, and related professionals
  • Information on eye diseases and disorders
  • Different ways to connect, including message boards and social media channels like Twitter and Facebook
  • Breaking news on the latest developments in vision loss treatment via the VisionAware blog
  • Directories of helpful services, products, and resources

About Me

Let me tell you a little bit about my background … and me.

I’m a low vision therapist (LVT) and certified vision rehabilitation therapist (CVRT) who has been a practitioner for 32 years. I began my career providing in-home vision rehabilitation services to adults and older adults throughout all five boroughs of New York City. After that, I became a university professor at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (now Salus University), where I started, and then directed, the Masters and Certificate programs in vision rehabilitation therapy.

But along the way, I discovered that I loved to write – more than I loved teaching, believe it or not. After 17 years at Salus, I wanted a new challenge – and found it in 2006 when I was invited to become the editorial director of an audacious little startup called VisionAware.org. I liked to call it “the little engine that could.”

As you know, most startups don’t survive. VisionAware made it, however, and has been strengthened by this innovative AFB-RDPFS alliance; in fact, VisionAware is bigger and better than ever.

The VisionAware Blog

In early 2010, I began blogging as a way to capture breaking news about innovative studies and clinical trials that had the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of people with low vision and vision loss.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that I have a peculiar talent for taking complicated medical and technical information and expressing it in everyday language; in other words, I am a proud and unrepentant nerd/geek. (Who knew I had such a skill? I certainly didn’t.) You can read the archived version of the former VisionAware blog at VisionAware.blogspot.com.

My Guiding Principles for Blogging

As I write, I’m guided by two principles, best captured in the following quotations:

“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” ~The Talmud

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~attributed to Albert Einstein, but disputed

In other words, I try to be scrupulously objective (and overcome the very human tendency to “see things as we are”) and use clarity in my language as I read through (sometimes) hundreds of newsfeeds a day, searching for information about new therapies, drugs, or clinical trials. Every day, I encounter many stories and news items that make me go “huh”? Trust me – there is much incorrect and fallacious information out there. Still, I persevere and try my best to bring you what’s real, accurate, and true.

I need your help to do that. If I’ve written something that’s inaccurate – let me know. If you have a story or information to share – let me know. If I’ve written something that’s helpful to you – let me know that, too.

Please feel free to say “hi” or make a comment. I’m looking forward to this new chapter of VisionAware and the VisionAware blog.