For Immediate Release
Virtual APH Annual Meeting Brings People Together to Address COVID-19 Challenges
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 16, 2020) – American Printing House (APH) is pleased to announce a record number of participants for this year’s Annual Meeting. The 2020 meeting, that was built around the theme “Better Together,” was held in an online format due to the current pandemic. Nearly 1,300 participants logged on to learn about how APH is handling difficulties brought on by COVID-19, as well as how to maneuver and rectify the challenges of teaching and learning during COVID-19.
“We had a good strategic plan in place and our operations team worked hard to keep APH safe for all employees. Nearly two-thirds of our employees are working from home and we have never had to shutter the factory, as our amazing frontline staff worked safely to fulfill orders,” said Dr. Craig Meador, Ed.D, APH President.
Now in its 152 year, the three day meeting ran Wednesday, October 7 through Friday, October 9. Advocates, educators, innovators, leaders and parents from the community of blindness and visual impairment, discussed the trials of having to alter teaching techniques and how students faced accessibility challenges due to limitations of virtual learning platforms and in some cases, being sent home without their usual educational devices.
“This is hugely disruptive and hard on all children, but I believe the negative impacts for my child will be far reaching. My child requires more instruction time to progress and she is unlikely to adapt to virtual learning,” said a mother of a 7-year-old child with low vision with additional disabilities in a survey.
With a focus on overcoming unforeseen problems and how to be better prepared for the future, sessions included topics such as, “Transition and Adult Services During COVID,” which explored ways to continue creative initiatives and training to adults who are blind and visually impaired. Another session, “Service to Students During COVID,” focused on the virtual student/teacher dynamic. The session, “What we have Learned from the First Access and Engagement Study,” allowed family members and professionals to discuss experiences and issues after transitioning from traditional educational practices to remote learning. While discussing how the workplace was impacted, one guest speaker explained how now is the time to examine workplace culture.
“This has allowed us to change the culture to what we want it to be in the future,” said Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind. “How we want the culture to evolve, what we want our culture to be and how staff fit into the plan, has made us more intentional and not married to how we have done things the past.”
A total of 1,284 attendees from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Equatorial Guinea, France, India, Italy, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, United States, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and Uzbekistan participated in the meeting that featured keynote speaker, Tyler Merren, a visually impaired Paralympic silver and bronze medalist, motivational speaker, personal trainer and founder of ReVision Training LLC.
About American Printing House for the Blind
American Printing House for the Blind is a worldwide leader in designing innovative lifelong learning solutions for children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. In this fast-changing world, we believe in the power and necessity of learning to open the doors to educational success, satisfying employment, social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal well-being. We level the learning playing field by providing specialized technology, materials, products, and services that are essential for education and life. American Printing House for the Blind is headquartered at 1839 Frankfort Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, please visit www.aph.org.