The Helen Keller Digital Archive
The Helen Keller Digital Archive officially launched in mid-June. Comprising more than 160,000 artifacts, the archive is the world's first fully accessible digital archival collection, and is the largest repository of historical content about Helen Keller, the world-famous author, political activist, and humanitarian. Due to their fragility, many of the items in the archive were previously unavailable to the public; this digitization project now makes these items available to audiences throughout the world.
Available at The Helen Keller Archive, this comprehensive online collection was generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and American Express, with oversight by AFB Archivist, Helen Selsdon, whose vision and persistence made the dream of an accessible digital archive a reality.
AFB and Comcast
AFB has teamed with Comcast to survey people who are blind and visually impaired to gauge TV-watching behaviors and awareness of accessible technologies. The results, which were released earlier this year, show that most people who are blind or visually impaired watch four or more hours of TV per day —almost as much as the general public. Many of those surveyed reported that assistive technologies, like video description, text-to-speech, and voice control, are helpful as they watch TV, but according to the study, much more can be done to increase awareness of these tools.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018
May 17 marked the seventh Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the goal of which is to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.
AFB took this opportunity to share our own resources to get the public thinking about accessibility by putting together a free webinar to commemorate the day. The webinar featured presentations by Cristopher Broyles, chief consulting solutions officer; Matthew Enigk, accessibility engineer; and Lee Huffman, editor of AccessWorld. Topics ranged from recent advances in the accessibility space to the common characteristics of successful accessibility programs. It also included an overview of AccessWorld, AFB's online magazine devoted to technology as it relates to people with vision loss, as well as a look at the solutions and services AFB offers to augment and support corporate accessibility programs. The archived webinar and transcript are both available on AFB's website.