90 Years of AFB
AFB is founded with the support of philanthropist M. C. Migel.
Helen Keller begins her 44-year tenure at AFB.
AFB develops Talking Books and Talking Book machines. These long-playing records, played on special machines, were made available free of charge. For many of the thousands of Americans with vision loss, a wealth of literature and knowledge was readily available for the first time in their lives.
AFB plays the leading role in the passage of the Wagner O'Day Act, which radically improves employment opportunities for people with vision loss. This law required the federal purchase of blind-made products and led to the creation of the National Industries for the Blind.
AFB sets up a "model shop" to research and develop aids and appliances for those with visual impairments.
Following World War II, the Veterans Administration requests AFB to help set up its rehabilitation program for blinded soldiers. M. C. Migel, AFB's President and CEO, gave what was at that time a large donation of $10,000 toward the establishment of the Blinded Veterans Association.
AFB creates the Tellatouch, a machine that resembles a typewriter, enabling sighted and deaf-blind individuals to communicate with each other.
AFB develops and begins offering early childhood services and workshops to help train special education teachers and professionals.
The federal government and AFB team up to sponsor the initial development of management and program standards for agencies and schools serving those with vision loss throughout the country. These efforts led to the creation of the National Accreditation Council (NAC), which administered the program of accreditation and standards-development for the field.
AFB presses national leaders to pass the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, which provides equal educational opportunities for children who are blind or visually impaired. This issue arose again 19 years later, when AFB led the advocacy effort to ensure children with visual impairments receive their textbooks and classroom materials on time and in braille, large print, and electronic formats.
AFB establishes the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impairments (NAPVI), the first organization for parents of children with visual impairments. This paved the way for FamilyConnect®,a new website introduced in 2008.
AFB establishes the National Technology Center at its New York headquarters. It was renamed AFB Tech in 2002 and relocated to a larger facility in Huntington, West Virginia.
AFB is instrumental in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This landmark civil rights law gave Americans with disabilities more public access and greater protections against discrimination.
AFB launches its accessible website, afb.org.
AFB opens the National Literacy Center in Atlanta, Georgia, which plays a major role in the advancement of braille literacy.
AFB fights to ensure that people with vision loss can vote independently and privately. Great progress was made with the passage of the Help America Vote Act.
AFB opens its Center on Vision Loss in Dallas, Texas, to help provide information to older Americans with low vision.
AFB leads the way for passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which requires television programs, smart phones, and other modern communications technologies to be accessible.
AFB gives professionals in the vision loss field the tools they need to stay on top of cutting-edge research, adaptive technology, and best practices. AFB has, to date, published over 500 books and other titles about blindness and visual impairment.
Today, the American Foundation for the Blind helps the 25 million Americans with vision loss achieve their full potential.
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