Giving Thanks that Helen Keller Remains in the Texas School Curriculum

November 20, 2018
Photo: Helen Keller seated in an armchair next to Winifred Corbally (right). Keller's young grandniece Margot Keller and another child stand in front. Texas, 1961. Today we give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives, and on this particular Thanksgiving, the American Foundation for the Blind has a special word of gratitude to the Texas Board of Education. On Friday, November 16, the board voted to keep Helen Keller (1880-1968) in the school curriculum. This decision has ensured…

Obtaining Access to E-books ...Again

November 19, 2018
The American Foundation for the Blind was pleased to learn that the Librarian of Congress had approved the US Copyright Office’s recommendation to exempt certain classes of works from copyright restrictions to improve access to those works by people who are blind or visually impaired. Every three years, the Copyright Office conducts a rulemaking procedure to determine which classes of works should be exempt from the "prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access…

Remembering Stan Lee: A Superhero Who Helped Change the Way the World Sees Blindness

November 15, 2018
This week we lost a legendary figure in the field of comic books and entertainment, Stan Lee. Among the many characters he helped develop for Marvel Comics is the first blind superhero, Daredevil. About his visually impaired crime-fighter, Lee said: "The one thing that worried me about Daredevil—I wondered if blind people would be offended, because we were exaggerating so much what a blind person can do, and they might have felt that we're making it ridiculous. But I was so pleased. After…

The Disasters of War: Helen Keller's Work On Behalf of Blinded Veterans

November 8, 2018
Helen Keller was a witness to the disasters of war—more specifically, soldiers blinded in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. In-depth information on Keller's involvement with blinded veterans, and her work to improve the economic, social and psychological lives of returning veterans are all documented in the Helen Keller Archive. (Helen Keller, Polly Thomson and a veteran lying in bed, possibly at a hospital in Pennsylvania.) (Helen Keller with wounded veterans at…
Author Helen Selsdon
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Ready for Takeoff: Bill of Rights for Flight Passengers With Disabilities

October 8, 2018
A bill of rights for airline passengers with disabilities and enhanced disability training for Transportation Security Administration officers are on the way under a new federal law. Among the improvements enacted in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, this legislation will: Increase civil penalties for bodily harm to a passenger with a disability and damage to wheelchairs or other mobility aids; Require that DOT review, and if necessary, revise regulations ensuring passengers with…

Department of Justice Confirms ADA Applies to Online Accommodations

October 1, 2018
At the American Foundation for the Blind, we were heartened to read that the Department of Justice confirmed clearly and unequivocally, in a September 26 letter to congressional representatives, that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to online accommodations. "The Department first articulated its interpretation that the ADA applies to public accommodations' websites over 20 years ago. This interpretation is consistent with the ADA's title III requirement that the goods, services…

AFB Applauds Legislation to Strengthen the ADA & Help Small Businesses Become Accessible

September 26, 2018
We applaud the introduction of legislation to strengthen the Americans with Disabilities Act and expand the tax credits already available to small businesses who want to become more accessible to customers with disabilities. The Disabled Access Credit Expansion Act—introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)—would double the maximum tax credit currently offered via the Disabled Access Credit (DAC), which helps businesses…

Helen Keller's Life and Impact

September 20, 2018
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…

The ADA's 28th Year in the Shadow of H.R. 620

July 25, 2018
HR620—A "Solution" in Search of a Problem One of my favorite assistive technology podcasts recently made me grit my teeth, again, over the passage of congressional bill H.R. 620. H.R. 620 is titled the "ADA Education and Reform Bill." In episode 107 of the AT Banter podcast, co-hosts Ryan Fleury and Steve Barclay discussed H.R. 620, stating that it would seem reasonable for an individual to approach a business that most likely, inadvertently created a barrier to access and ask/suggest/…

Thoughts on Independence Day by Helen Keller

July 3, 2018
Happy Fourth of July! Helen Keller fought her entire life for social and economic equality for all. During the 1930s she used the platform of the popular Home Magazine to express her ideas and encourage self-reliance, education, and hope, particularly among women. On the occasion of the Fourth of July, 1934, she encouraged readers to reflect on democracy and the work of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt who sought to lift the country out of its economic woes. "Independence Day" by Helen…
Author Helen Selsdon
Blog Topics Helen Keller, Holidays