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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Helen Keller's Life and Impact

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Helen Keller with early communications device

On September 14, a national conversation began when the Texas School Board recommended the removal of Helen Keller from its required Grade 3 social studies curriculum. We realized this was an important moment to share Helen Keller’s extraordinary life story, and the many lessons she left us: perseverance, service, determination, compassion, inclusion, and the ability to change the world.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for 44 years, and today, we continue her legacy. Her story is captured in her own voice through the letters, photographs, and artifacts available in the fully accessible Helen Keller Archive. Currently, over 163,000 digital images are up on the website, and more are coming. It is clear, now more than ever, that we must complete this pioneering educational tool. But we need your help. Please donate today.

At AFB, we know that Helen Keller’s story has the power to make the world a better place. She was a writer, a world traveler, an outspoken public citizen, and a passionate advocate for others. She fought to put her beliefs into action—to make sure that veterans who lost their sight in battle received rehabilitation services and that blind children gained access to a good education, and the life-changing knowledge of her beloved braille.

The Helen Keller Archive includes correspondence, speeches, press clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, architectural drawings, and artifacts spanning over 80 years—with images and letters from key figures ranging from Alexander Graham Bell and Mark Twain to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. AFB’s archive is the world’s leading resource for historians, researchers, filmmakers, writers, publishers, and schoolchildren searching for information about and by Helen Keller and the times during which she lived.

Helen Keller changed perceptions of what it means to be blind and deafblind. She fought for the rights of those with visual impairments, including greater employment opportunities. This archive represents a powerful vehicle to continue the work begun by Keller and AFB to build a more inclusive world. Please show your support for her work and legacy by contributing to the digitization project.


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