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for the Blind

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Helen Keller International - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Helen Keller International
352 Park Avenue South
12th Floor
New York, NY 10010
(212) 532-0544 (Local)
(212) 532-6014 (Fax)

Brief Description

Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International (HKI) is among the oldest international nonprofit organizations devoted to fighting and treating preventable blindness and malnutrition. HKI is headquartered in New York City, and has programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia as well as in the United States. HKI builds local capacity by establishing sustainable programs, and provides scientific and technical assistance and data to governments and international, regional, national and local organizations around the world.

HKI programs combat malnutrition, cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis (river blindness) and refractive error. The goal of all HKI programs is to reduce suffering of those without access to needed health or vision care and ultimately, to help lift people from poverty.

Hours of operation: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM EST
Clients served on average per year: 160,000,000
Number of staff: 1,000
Geographic area served: In Africa: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zimbabwe; and in Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam. Also in the United States of America


352 Park Avenue South
12th Floor
New York, NY 10010


Kathy Spahn, President & CEO, (212) 532-0544,

Services Offered

Services for Children

  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • HKI supports inclusive education for children with visual impairments and other special needs via its Opportunities for Vulnerable Children program in Indonesia.
  • Education Services
    • HKI's ChildSight® program serves at-risk children living in urban and rural poverty by offering free vision screenings and eyeglasses "to bring education into focus™". Childsight® overcomes the two biggest barriers to childhood vision care: prohibitive cost and limited access. Every year in the United States, ChildSight® travels to public schools from California to New York. We bring the latest vision equipment and a selection of frames. We screen children on-site to determine their vision correction needs and, within a week, deliver new glasses to those who need them. If more extensive treatment is required, children receive an immediate referral to a nearby ophthalmologist, also free of charge.
  • Health
    • HKI works internationally in close partnership with local governmental and nongovernmental agencies to prevent blindness and reduce malnutrition worldwide. In the U.S., Vietnam, and Indonesia HKI provides free vision screening and eyeglasses to needy students.

Services for Professionals

  • Consultation/Technical Program Assistance
    • HKI provides technical assistance to ministries of health and education in 21 countries overseas.
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