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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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Helen Keller Services - AFB Directory Profile

General Information

Helen Keller Services
57 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 522-2122 (Local)
(718) 935-9463 (Fax)

Brief Description

HKS offers services and programs through two divisions: Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults and Helen Keller Services for the Blind. Helen Keller National Center is the only comprehensive national program that provides vocational and independent living skills training exclusively to youths and adults with combined vision and hearing loss. Helen Keller Services for the Blind is a comprehensive rehabilitation program serving individuals of all ages who are blind or visually impaired, and who may have additional disabilities, living in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Hours of operation: Mon.-Fri. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.
Clients served on average per year: Thousands
Number of staff: 310
Staff description: Rehabilitation teachers, employment specialists, teachers of the visually impaired, teaching assistants, braillists, low vision specialists, social workers, community outreach specialists, administrators, and clerical staff.
Geographic area served: Through HKSB division - New York Metropolitan Area; Through HKNC division - the United States
Publications: Annual Report, Newsletter, Brochures.


Helen Keller Services - Nassau County
One Helen Keller Way
Hempstead, NY 11550

Suffolk County
3385 Veterans Memorial Highway
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

57 Willoughby Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

HKNC Headquarters
141 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY 11050


Joseph Bruno, President & CEO
Marc Feldman, Chief Financial Officer, (718) 522-2122 2264,
Lorraine Lo Curto, HKSB Executive Director, (516) 485-1234 610,
Russell Martello, Director of Youth Services, (718) 522-2122,
Liz Meade, HKSB Associate Executive Director, (718) 522-2122,
Mia Murro, Chief Human Resources Officer,
Mike Pisano, Director of OPWDD Services, (516) 485-1234,
Deborah Rodriguez, Director of Communications and Events, HKS, (718) 522-2122 204,
Susan Ruzenski, Executive Director, Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults, (516) 944-8900,
Garth White, Principal, Children’s Learning Center, HKSB, (718) 522-2122 323,

Services Offered

Services for Adults

  • Computer Training/Assistive Technology
    • Provides assessment and training in the use of adaptive software for computers; keyboarding instruction when necessary.
  • Counseling
    • Offers counseling in adjustment to blindness.
  • Daily Living Skills/Independent Living Skills Training
    • Helps clients maintain independence after becoming blind or visually impaired by training clients in the areas of safe travel, daily living skills (i.e., cooking and cleaning), communications, and personal care. Most training is done one-to-one in the client's home or workplace. Day Habilitation Program offers habilitation and recreational services to individuals who are visually impaired and have a developmental disability.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Offers a full spectrum of employment services for adults, including vocational assessment, job readiness training, work experience internships, and job placement.
  • Housing Services
    • Maintains the Individualized Residential Alternative (IRA), a group home for six clients who are blind and have additional disabilities.
  • Low Vision Services
    • Optometrists with expertise in low vision work with clients in our Low Vision Eye Service to maximize residual vision through the use of specialized lenses, magnifiers, and low-glare lighting. The Eye Service centers are located in Brooklyn, Hempstead, Sands Point, and Huntington NY.
  • Services for Seniors
    • Senior Centers in Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk Counties
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Offers instruction in safe travel using a cane.

Services for Children

  • Braille and Reading Instruction
    • Offers braille instruction, remedial literacy training, and instruction in how to use low vision devices.
  • Early Intervention/Infant Services
    • Operates a center-based Early Intervention Program in Brooklyn for children, birth to three, who are blind and/or multi-handicapped.
  • Employment/Job Training
    • Offers pre-vocational training for teens, a two-month training program that prepares visually impaired and blind teenagers (ages 14 to 21) for the world of work. The College Prep Program is a program aimed at high school students (10th through 12th grade) with visual impairments who are considering post-high school options.
  • Health
    • Provides free child-friendly vision screenings for close to 25,000 children from ages 3 to 5 years old, throughout Kings, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties.
  • Preschool Programs
    • Operates a preschool in Brooklyn for children, three to five, who are blind; many have additional disabilities. Open to students from Kings, Queens, Richmond, and New York Counties. Also offers a free Preschool Vision Screening Program in Kings, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
  • Summer/Day Camps and After-school Programs
    • Camp Helen Keller is a six-week summer day camp for children ages 4 to 15 who are blind or visually impaired. The HKSB Children’s Saturday Program is an eight-session spring and fall program for children ages 8 to 13 years old who are blind or visually impaired.

      Children's Saturday Program offers Long Island children, 8-14, the opportunity to participate in an array of recreational and educational activities facilitated by rehabilitation teachers. Focus is on building participants' self-esteem, self-confidence, and social skills. Holds Camp Helen Keller, a six-week summer day camp on Long Island for children, 4 to 15. Age-appropriate and fun activities are designed to improve the self-esteem, self-confidence, and socialization skills of the campers.
  • Support for Parents
    • The Parent & Early Education Resource Center, which is open to New York City parents of children with vision impairments and other disabilities, offers support in a variety of ways. The Center offers a series of monthly training workshops based on children’s and family needs. Topics can include child development, strategies for parenting children with disabilities, and information sessions about programs and support available for children with special needs. The Center also provides parents with resources and advocacy training; ongoing support groups offer peer support for families of young children with visual impairments and other disabilities.
  • Travel/Orientation and Mobility
    • Offers instruction in safe travel using a cane.

Services for Professionals

  • Professional Training
    • HKNC offers unparalleled professional development opportunities for people who work with deaf-blind individuals. Our staff conducts professional seminars at our headquarters in Sands Point, New York, and offers customized training across the country through both on-site and online programs.

Ongoing Events/Programs

Camp Helen Keller
HKSB Children's Saturday Program
Pre-Vocational Training Program
College Prep Program

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