Today Is the Day to Be a Digital Archivist!

May 29, 2019
Helen Keller and Polly Thomson, seated outside on the grass with German Shepherd dog nearby, circa 1955
Helen Keller and Polly Thomson, seated outside on the grass with German Shepherd dog nearby, circa 1955
Please visit the Helen Keller Archive today between 12:00 and 12:30pm U.S. Eastern time. Our goal is to have a large number of visitors test the site’s ability to handle heavy traffic. So we need as many of you out there as possible to take a few minutes and enjoy the treasure trove that is the Helen Keller digital archive! Learn something new! Check out her correspondence with Mark Twain and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Or read a letter she wrote to her good friend Nella Braddy Henney, describing…

Be a Digital Archivist for a Day!

May 21, 2019
Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Polly Thomson at a banquet before Helen and Polly's trip to the Far East. Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NYC, 1955
Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Polly Thomson
On Wednesday May 29 at 12pm U.S. Eastern, we encourage you to explore all of the great things the archive has to offer, and help to test how well the archive handles heavy traffic. There are thousands of letters, photographs, maps, artifacts, and more just waiting to be discovered in the Helen Keller Archive. Here’s how you can help: Please visit the Helen Keller Facebook page for more information about this event (and give it a follow if you haven’t already!). Always been a fan of Eleanor…

Seven (7) Accessibility Tips for Web and Mobile Developers

May 16, 2019
John Lilly
John Lilly, AFB Senior Accessibility Engineer
Use robust, valid code and keep it simple. Remember that there are many different types of disabilities and many different types of assistive technologies to help these users. Developers mostly need to worry about proper programming and keeping things simple. Is your website coded correctly to stand the test of time and meet compatibility requirements with many different devices? Native HTML controls should always be your first choice. These controls are robust and have concrete standards that…

A Look Back at AFB’s Long History in Assistive Technology: Talking Books

May 15, 2019
Image Description: In the shipping department at the Library for the Blind, New York Public Library, Talking Book records are being mailed in their containers. In the foreground, a man pushes two trolleys full of Talking Book records. In the background a man stands on a ladder in front of one of the many large metal shelves housing the containers. Partnerships are powerful! Since its inception in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind has worked with blindness organizations, government…
Author AFB Staff

AccessWorld List of the 5 Must-Attend Assistive Technology Conferences

May 13, 2019
The pace of both mainstream and assistive technology is rapid, and keeping up with the latest advances can be daunting. There are several technology-focused conferences where attendees can learn about the latest updates and explore the technology available to people with vision loss. In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we have gathered the top five conferences in North America that we believe provide the most value in this space. Conferences are listed in the calendar order…

Trump’s Proposed Budget Doesn’t Value People with Disabilities

May 6, 2019
Budgets are an expression of your values. The Trump Administration’s budget reveals a government that does not value people with disabilities, or our capacity to contribute to society. The administration’s proposed 2020 budget would cut deeply into a wide variety of critical education, employment, and aging programs that affect people who are blind, deafblind, or visually impaired: A proposed $5 million in cuts to the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) $2 million in cuts to special…

Helen Keller Archive Featured on "Archival Innovators" Blog

April 26, 2019
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…

Introducing the New-Look

April 2, 2019
After many months of hard work, AFB has raised the curtains on its redesigned website, The new site maintains our proud history of accessibility, while making it even easier to find the wealth of information that users expect, especially on mobile devices. It also reflects the organization’s new strategic direction and priorities, emphasizing aging, education, and employment. AFB has been a pioneer in developing accessible websites, long before it was common practice, dating back…

AFB Discontinuing Support for AccessWorld App

March 25, 2019
The American Foundation for the Blind is very pleased to announce the upcoming launch of its newly redesigned, Drupal 8 format website, which has been optimized for use on tablets and mobile phones. Due to the new, easier to navigate website, AFB will be discontinuing support for the AccessWorld app. We sincerely appreciate your downloading and using the app in past years, and we believe you will have an even smoother experience using the new web version. Please visit AccessWorld on AFB’s…
Author Lee Huffman
Blog Topics AccessWorld News

It Takes a Village to Make a Successful Conference

March 7, 2019
group shot of Helen Keller 2019 honorees with AFB staff and board members
We hope you found the 2019 AFB Leadership Conference to be inspiring, invigorating, and informative and that you left feeling better prepared to LEAD: Learn, Engage, Advance, and Deliver. We had 40 distinct opportunities to LEAD at the conference. The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision (NRTC) at Mississippi State University hosted an all-day Older Individuals Who are Blind Program managers meeting on Wednesday, that attracted nearly 60 participants. The three…
Author George Abbott
Blog Topics Conference Wrap Up