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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Be Like Helen on Her Birthday; Be an Advocate!

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[Editor's note: The following post is authored by Keller Johnson-Thompson, Helen Keller's great-grandniece.]

Keller Johnson-Thompson standing beside a statue of Helen Keller.

My Great Grand Aunt, Helen Keller, was a unique woman. Not only did she overcome the double dungeon of darkness and silence in her own life, but she fought to help others overcome the obstacles that stood in the paths of their lives as well. From women's suffrage, to civil rights, to labor laws, my aunt wanted a world in which every individual would have equal rights under the law. I know without a doubt that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one that she would have supported wholeheartedly—she helped lay the ground work for much of what it contains. However, Aunt Helen was also a woman who never stopped striving to make the world a better place than she found it. If she were here with us today, I know that she would be an advocate of many programs supporting the rights involving children, wounded soldiers and their families, and those with special needs. Aunt Helen would also remind us to never stop advocating for equal rights. In fact, she would insist that every American support The Anne Sullivan Macy Act.

The Anne Sullivan Macy Act, named for Helen Keller's beloved teacher, would dramatically improve educational results for the more than 100,000 students in America with vision loss, many of whom have additional disabilities. The Macy Act would ensure that these students are properly evaluated and served in light of all their unique learning needs. Without the Anne Sullivan Macy Act, our nation's special education system would remain unable to deliver on its promise of a truly appropriate education for our kids.

On June 27, 2013, Aunt Helen would have celebrated her 133rd Birthday! Join me in continuing her legacy by supporting the Anne Sullivan Macy Act and asking your member of Congress to sponsor this important piece of legislation.

Call-In Numbers:

U.S. House of Representatives: 1-855-882-MACY (6229)

U.S. Senate: 1-877-959-MACY (6229)

Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to contact your members of Congress. In making these important calls, you are joining families, professionals and consumers from all across America who are as concerned as you are about the readiness of kids with vision loss for college and career.

Once you enter your zip code and get connected to your U.S. House of Representatives member or to each of your two U.S. Senators, identify yourself and let them know you're a constituent. Then, ask them to sponsor the Anne Sullivan Macy Act. You should point them to:

For the full text of the legislation and for an online support petition. You may also find an array of useful supporting materials at a joint AFB and Perkins project published on the web at:

Thank you in advance. Aunt Helen once said, "Alone we can do little, together we can do so much."

Keller Johnson-Thompson
Great Grand Niece of Helen Keller

Personal Reflections
Public Policy
Helen Keller