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Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day with Action

May 21, 2020
Today marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day designed to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with different disabilities. By “accessibility,” we mean the design and development of a website (or app, or any digital tool) that allows everyone, including people with disabilities, to independently use and interact with it, as well as create with it and contribute to it. What follows are just a few easy ideas that you…
Blog Topics Web Accessibility

Seven Blind Women You Should Know About for Women's History Month

March 27, 2020
March is Women’s History Month, typically a time to encourage the celebration and study of the vital role of women in American history. But this year, parents and teachers around the world are confronting uniquely challenging circumstances, as schools face unprecedented closures to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. At AFB, we have pulled together some accessible online resources that honor 7 blind women whose lives span from 1829 to 1985, and whose histories are largely forgotten. We…

5 Accessibility Actions You Can Take When You’re Moving Your Conference or Classes Online

March 17, 2020
computer keyboard with one key depicting an icon of a person who is blind, walking with a long cane
With COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the news, organizations like AFB are taking steps to flatten the curve. From shifting events from live to virtual, and shutting down schools, to restricting approved business travel, everyone is now looking to make more training materials available online. As we move our interactions to the digital space, it is important we bring the same inclusive lens to our decision-making as we do when planning face-to-face interactions that use technology. “Agencies are…

Helen Keller Archive Participates in NYC Digital Humanities Week

February 6, 2020
AFB staff and our colleagues Alison Burke and Toya Dubin were honored to participate in NYC Digital Humanities Week. We shared our work to make the Helen Keller Archive as accessible and user-friendly as possible, and freely available to educators who want to teach their students how to use primary sources. Helen Keller was a leading advocate for people with visual impairments, and likely the most famous person with a disability in the 20th century. She was also a devoted New Yorker! Helen,…
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How Does the Department of Justice's Withdrawal of Proposed Regulations Change How the ADA Applies to Websites?

January 2, 2018
On December 26, the Department of Justice (DOJ) officially withdrew pending rulemakings that would have clarified exactly how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to web services. In 2010, the DOJ started the rulemaking process to create new regulations for the websites of public accommodations and state and local governments. These "Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking" (ANPRMs) have now been withdrawn. For two different, but complementary, perspectives on this news, we…

2017 Gift Ideas for Friends and Family Members Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

November 14, 2017
As we approach the holiday season, we start trying to find gift ideas that will surprise and delight the people we love most. If you have close friends or family members who are blind, visually impaired, or losing their sight, explore these updated gift guides from the American Foundation for the Blind. AFB has pulled together appropriate, useful, fun gift ideas for all ages—from very young children to working-age adults to seniors who are gradually losing their vision. Before you start…
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"Failures Become Victories If They Make Us Wise-Hearted" - Helen Keller

August 24, 2017
"...Let us not forget the treasures which the swift years have laid at our feet—the strength, the sense, the courage to meet difficulties and overcome them. Nothing else matters very much. To keep on trying in spite of disappointment and failure is the only way to keep young and brave. Failures become victories if they make us wise-hearted." -Helen Keller, in a 1921 speech she gave at the reunion dinner for Wright-Humason School, sharing memories of past classmates and her time spent at…
Blog Topics Helen Keller

AFB Staff Members Report Back on Three Different Approaches to Experiencing the Solar Eclipse

August 21, 2017
Yesterday, AFB staff experienced the solar eclipse with a variety of high- and low-tech approaches. Associate Director of Web Services Crista Earl used the new Eclipse Soundscapes App created by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and NASA’s Heliophysics Education Consortium. AFB Press Executive Editor Alina Vayntrub went old-school, using a colander to cast shadows of the eclipse against a white piece of paper. And Neva Fairchild, National Independent Living & Employment…

From Helen Keller to Netflix: Making Popular Culture Accessible

June 7, 2017
Helen in her dressing room in a vaudeville theatre, circa 1920 On June 15, the American Foundation for the Blind will be honoring Netflix with a Helen Keller Achievement Award for its work to broaden access to television shows, documentaries, and feature films on its streaming service. Netflix has added over 3,500 hours of described content (learn more about video description) since launching its first audio described title over two years ago—Marvel’s Daredevil, a show about a blind…

A Conversation with Architect Chris Downey

May 14, 2017
On June 15, the American Foundation for the Blind will be honoring architect Chris Downey with a Helen Keller Achievement Award for his exemplary leadership in accessible design, and dedication to creating enriching and helpful environments for people who are blind or visually impaired. Downey lost his sight in 2008, and has since gone on to found his own consulting firm, Architecture for the Blind. He specializes in designing workplaces, museum environments, and vision rehabilitation centers…