Helping the visually impaired join the workforce – Kirk Adams
As the president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind, Dr. Kirk Adams is a leader in the field of blindness and is committed to pursuing strategic relationships with peers, policymakers, employers, and other influencers to create a more inclusive and accessible world for the more than 20 million Americans with vision loss.
About the guest:
Ph.D. President and CEO
American Foundation for the Blind
As president and chief executive officer of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Kirk Adams is a longtime champion of people who are blind or visually impaired and is committed to creating a more inclusive, accessible world for the more than 25 million Americans with vision loss.
Dr. Adams has led AFB to a renewed focus on cultivating in-depth and actionable knowledge and promoting understanding of issues affecting children, working-age adults, and older people who are blind or visually impaired. His role involves pursuing strategic relationships with peers, policymakers, employers, and other influencers to engender and accelerate systemic change.
Dr. Adams frequently serves as a keynote speaker at conferences across the country, on topics including education, vocational rehabilitation and workforce participation, vision loss and aging, and technology. He has consulted with top leadership at Google, Facebook, Microsoft, as well as key leaders in the finance, public policy, nonprofit, and tech sectors to discuss topics ranging from product and digital accessibility to civil and disability rights.
Before joining AFB, Dr. Adams was president and CEO of The Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc. He was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Disability Employment and the Seattle Public Library’s Strategic Plan Advisory Committee, and served on the boards of the National Industries for the Blind, and the National Association for the Employment of People Who Are Blind.
Adams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, and earned his master’s in not-for-profit leadership at Seattle University in Washington. In 2019, he completed his doctorate in Leadership and Change at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio. In 2020, he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters from SUNY Upstate Medical University.