Governors: Treat Transportation as an Essential Service for People with Disabilities

June 29, 2020
The American Foundation for the Blind's Public Policy and Research Institute, working in coalition with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, wrote to the National Governors Association to express the needs of public transportation users with disabilities as states across the country implement reopening policies. In particular, we joined forces to highlight the considerations that the country's governors must take as transit and other transportation services transition back to the…

Helen Keller Born 140 Years Ago Today!

June 27, 2020
Helen Keller seated in three quarter profile, possibly in a photographer's studio. She is seated in a chair that is sideways to the camera. She is wearing a loose, shimmering dress that is dark and has a boat neck. Keller is leaning over and has her arm around the back of a young girl who is wearing a light colored organza-type fabric dress with ribbons. Keller's dark shoes and the child's light-color boots are typical of the early 19th century.
“What induces a child to learn but his delight in knowing?”-Helen Keller, 1927
The 20th century was tumultuous. As a fierce champion of civil rights, Helen Keller would applaud the nation’s demand for equal justice for all its citizens, and would be thrilled by the active engagement of so many young people to improve the world we live in. Helen understood that changing society requires changing preconceptions and prejudices. That one must engage all citizens, and that access to education by every member of society is key to creating systemic change. AFB is proud to…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller

Free and Accessible Helen Keller Archive Lesson Plans for Distance Learning

June 15, 2020
"Education should train the child to use his brains, to make for himself a place in the world and maintain his rights even when it seems that society would shove him into the scrap-heap." -Helen Keller, "Going Back to School," The Home Magazine, September 1934 As AFB’s archivist since 2002, I have had the honor to lead the charge to organize, preserve, and digitize Helen Keller’s massive archive, and to make the collection freely available around the globe. The digital Helen Keller Archive…
Author Helen Selsdon
Blog Topics Helen Keller, Education

Congressional Hearings on School Reopenings

June 15, 2020
Last week, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing on returning to K-12 schools safely. Considering that students with disabilities are often left out of the conversation, it was exciting to hear that they were considered in multiple lines of questioning presented by the witnesses and the Senators themselves. From the witnesses, we learned that educators are deeply concerned about the digital divide, the health and safety of students and educators, and…

Questions to Tackle as Students Return to School

June 10, 2020
As schools around the country navigate how and when students might safely be able to return to school, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Foundation for the Blind encourages legislators, educators, administrators, superintendents, and parents to ask the following questions: Compensatory Services Some students have individualized education programs (IEPs) that require instruction from a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments or an Orientation and Mobility Specialist on specialized…

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

Requesting Congressional Support for Blind and Low Vision Students by Opposing Waivers and Providing Additional IDEA Funding

May 11, 2020
On May 8, 2020, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) and the American Council of the Blind (ACB) joined forces with eight other national organizations to pen a letter to the Chairs and the Ranking Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension and the House Committee on Education and Labor. The letter is a request to Congress to continue supporting children who are blind or have low vision by opposing waivers that would affect the services that children receive…

AFB Celebrates Volunteer Brailler for 10 Years of Service

April 29, 2020
Between March 2010 and April 2020, Matt Kenney has brailled more than 48,600 pages for AFB. Because he does it strictly as a volunteer, it’s truly a labor of love — not because he knows anyone personally who is blind or visually impaired. He just wants to help, he says. His efforts are valued by AFB not just during National Volunteer Appreciation Month in April, but every day of the year. AFB isn’t Kenney’s first experience with brailling. It all began back in 1971, when he was on leave from…
Blog Topics Braille

Accessible Education Resources

April 24, 2020
** Editor's note: We will continue to update this post as we create and gather additional resources. Bookmark this page and check back often! ** As everyone adjusts to our new reality of working from home while simultaneously homeschooling our children, AFB staff have pulled together some online resources that may be helpful. AFB also offered a free webinar on how to provide Remote Instruction and Services for Blind and Low Vision Participants, as part of our Virtual AFB Leadership Conference…

Encuesta: Acceso y Participación en la Educación de Estudiantes con Impedimentos Visuales

April 22, 2020
(Read in English) Esperamos que participe en una encuesta que tiene como objetivo ayudarnos a entender mejor los retos y triunfos que están viviendo, a causa de la pandemia COVID-19, los estudiantes con impedimentos visuales, incluyendo a aquellos con discapacidades múltiples, y aquellos que son sordociegos. Deseamos escuchar la opinión de todas las familias, todos los maestros de estudiantes con impedimentos visuales, y todos los instructores de orientación y movilidad de…