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AFB eNews

May 2010

American Foundation for the Blind Opens a New Exhibit, Helen Keller: A Daring Adventure

Photographic portrait of Helen Keller in a lovely black dress and hat

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -Helen Keller

On May 7, 2010, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) opened Helen Keller: A Daring Adventure in a specially created gallery at its New York City headquarters. The exhibit includes 75 items, which includes 31 never-before-viewed artifacts, writings, photographs, and other prized possessions bestowed to AFB by Keller, who worked for the organization for 44 years. These items were culled from AFB's extensive Helen Keller Archives, which contains more than 80,000 items, and represents the first comprehensive exhibit of the deaf-blind pioneer.

The exhibit goes beyond "The Miracle Worker," where young Keller discovers the world of language, and instead focuses on Keller's extraordinary life as an equal rights activist, world-renowned goodwill ambassador, and advocate for people with disabilities. Her artifacts are grouped into thematic sections: Early Life & Childhood, Idealism & Activism, Author, World Traveler, Celebrity and a special section featuring gifts Keller received from around the world. Items showcased in the exhibit include the earliest existing words she wrote as a child; the honorary Oscar she won for the documentary based on her life; two of her Socialist Party of America membership cards; and a Zulu shield and silver-encased Bible she received during her world travels.

Helen Keller: A Daring Adventure is on display from May 7, 2010 through July 30, 2010 at the American Foundation for the Blind located at 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, New York, NY. RSVP is required. Admission is free and a $10 donation is suggested to help support AFB's new campaign to preserve and digitize all of Keller's items in the archives. Learn more about the campaign.

For more information and to RSVP to visit the gallery, visit

News and Announcements

M. C. Migel to Be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field
This May, the American Printing House of the Blind (APH) announced that M. C. Migel, founder of AFB, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field. Housed at APH in Louisville, Kentucky, the Hall's mission is "to preserv[e] the tradition of excellence manifested by specific individuals through the history of outstanding services provided to people who are blind or visually impaired in North America." Businessman and philanthropist M.C. Migel saw thousands of veterans who lost their sight in combat struggling to reintegrate into American society after World War I, and decided to do something about it. He went on to help found AFB in 1921 and became its first chairperson. Migel will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on October 15, 2010, along with Morris Frank. Read more on the AFB Blog.

Helen Keller Achievement Awards (HKAA)

Save the date, Monday evening, June 7, 2010, for the 16th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Awards!

AFB presents the Helen Keller Achievement Awards to acknowledge Helen Keller's extraordinary efforts and to promote the notable achievements of individuals and organizations that have improved the quality of life for all people who are blind or visually impaired. This year's Personal Achievement honoree is Rachael Scdoris, professional sled dog racer, and the Corporate Achievement honorees are Hewlett-Packard Company, HSBC, and Lions Clubs International Foundation.

For additional information on the event and honorees, view the full announcement.

Can an Android Make Your Mobile Phone Accessible?
In the latest issue of AccessWorld® , Darren Burton, National Program Associate for Technology, breaks down the accessible features of phones that use Google's new Android software. The Google Android is an open-source operating system used by smart phones like the Nexus One and most recently by the Motorola Droid, and its popularity is fast growing in the US, where it competes with other smart phones like the Blackberry and iPhone. The article goes in depth, detailing the work of Google's "Eyes-Free" project team, a group led by blind scientist T.V. Raman, to accommodate people with vision loss, as well as sighted people in situations where they cannot look at their phones. Darren surveys and analyzes the group's assistive technology developments, like the Talking Dialer, Talking Caller ID, Talking Compass applications and the TalkBack screen reader. Read the full article now.

AFB CareerConnect® Webcast Presentations
This June, CareerConnect, through the generous support of AT&T, presents two new free webinars. On June 15, Dr. Karen E. Wolffe discusses the resources and skills that young adults with visual impairments need to acquire from high school career counseling and consultation before graduation in What's Next...Postsecondary Training Preparation for Students with Visual Impairments. Then, on June 16, Ike Presley discusses the current trends in technology and its implications on both high school and postsecondary training in Technology and Visual Impairment in Higher Education. The two 90-minute sessions will be available in video or as audio-only through AFB CareerConnect and provide a great opportunity to receive continuing education units that are approved by ACVREP and CRCC. For more information, visit, contact 1-800-232-5463, or e-mail

Save the Helen Keller Archives Campaign
The Helen Keller Archives, housed at AFB, is the largest collection of HK items in existence. For almost 50 years, AFB has carefully cared for the collection and made it available to scholars, school children, and visitors. Now we need to digitize this national treasure to conserve it and make it even more widely available. Lions Clubs International Foundation has generously offered to pledge $50,000 for the preservation and digitization if AFB can raise $150,000 by June 30, 2010 thorough supporters, families and friends. Your support of this vital project will allow us to initiate digital conversion of the entire artifact collection, help us serve a growing global audience via Internet access, and keep Helen's memory alive for future generations. Donate today and help us preserve Helen Keller's legacy.

AFB on the Web
For the latest AFB news, follow us on the AFB Facebook page or the Helen Keller and FamilyConnect Facebook fan pages. AFB can also be found on Twitter! Follow us on the official AFB Twitter page, as well as the official AFB Consulting and AFB Senior Site Twitter pages.

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