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Foundation for the Blind expands Huntington office

May. 26, 2010 @ 10:45 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The American Foundation for the Blind is getting ready to unveil its new expanded office for AFB TECH in Huntington.

The new 6,000-square-foot office and optics lab will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony with AFB leadership and Gov. Joe Manchin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 16. AFB TECH is now located at 1000 5th Ave., Suite 350, in the Chase Bank building.

"West Virginia has been instrumental in helping us expand possibilities for the 25 million Americans with vision loss and we are extremely proud to be a part of the wonderful community in Huntington," Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "We have an impressive team working for us at AFB TECH, and we've been welcomed with open arms by the leadership and people of this great state."

AFB TECH is the technology arm of the foundation and first opened in Huntington in 2001 with three staff members. It now has almost 20 employees and interns from Marshall University. AFB recently located its finance department and other key positions from its New York headquarters to West Virginia.

AFB TECH makes technology such as lifesaving diabetes equipment and smart phones accessible to people with vision loss. AFB TECH evaluates mainstream and assistive technology products and collaborates with companies such as Apple, Canon and Whirlpool to ensure their latest products meet the needs of blind and visually impaired consumers.

It also has done product research in making small display screens, such as those used on handheld mobile devices, easier to see and has successfully competed for federal research dollars to advance this work. Also located at the Huntington office is AFB CareerConnect, a Web-based program for blind and visually impaired students, job seekers and potential employers that works to combat the high unemployment rates among people with vision loss.

Learn more about AFB TECH at www.afb.org/afbtech.

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