Helen Keller reading braille at her desk

Archival Innovators, a new blog series hosted by the Society of American Archivists, aims to raise awareness of "the individuals, institutions, and collaborations that are helping to boldly chart the future of the the archives profession and set new precedents for the role of the archivist in society."

This week features an interview with Helen Selsdon, highlighting her work coordinating a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project to digitize AFB’s Helen Keller Archive and make the digital collection fully accessible to blind, deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, sighted, and hearing audiences alike. This groundbreaking project serves as a model for providing truly inclusive access to digitized collections.

Here are just a few tips she shared:

  • Don’t panic — know that you’ll need to take things one step at a time and problem-solve as you go. Everything takes a lot of time, usually longer than you think it will.
  • Be inclusive — bring in people who do not think like you.
  • Do a lot of usability testing with diverse user groups who bring different ways of thinking.

We hope you'll enjoy the interview, and then have fun exploring the accessible Helen Keller Archive!