“The Blind Poet” Dave Steele to Emcee 2020 Helen Keller Achievement Awards

February 6, 2020
The American Foundation for the Blind is proud to announce that Dave Steele, known as “The Blind Poet,” will be emceeing the 24th Annual Helen Keller Achievement Awards on March 25 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. The award recipients are the American Printing House for the Blind, P&G, and Dr. Chieko Asakawa. Steele is an award-winning poet, author, public speaker, singer, and advocate for the blind. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 2014, his eye…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Conference News

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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AFB President and CEO Kirk Adams Profiled in Bold Blind Beauty Magazine

February 4, 2020
As part of the digital lifestyle magazine Bold Blind Beauty’s monthly “Men in Motion” series, Dr. Kirk Adams was the feature story for the February 2020 edition. In it, Kirk discusses his employment journey, learning to read Braille at a young age, and who were some of his biggest influences, among other topics. “Really, what’s next for me and for AFB is to change systems,” Kirk says in the exclusive video. “To eliminate barriers, to create opportunities, to understand where we can focus our…

Thank Your Mentor Day: A Conversation with the Director of the National Disability Mentoring Coalition

January 30, 2020
Every day is a good day to show appreciation for the mentors who have helped you along the way. But during National Mentoring Month, January 30th is set aside as the official “Thank Your Mentor Day.” This day is especially close to my heart as we approach the official kickoff events for AFB’s new Blind Leaders Development Program, and we’re honored to feature Derek Shields on the AFB blog to ask him about his own experiences with mentoring. Derek is president of ForwardWorks Consulting, LLC…
Author Megan Aragon
Blog Topics Employment

Helping Make History More Accessible

January 28, 2020
In the foreground, hand holding smartphone. Phone screen shows a landmark navigation app. In background is the landmark location, a restaurant with awning. Text on awning reads, "Jim's Restaurant"
Clio app being used to learn information about a historic landmark in a city's downtown.
On January 17, Huntington, WV-based Marshall University announced that Clio, a free history-based mobile app and website founded by the university, received a nearly $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to improve its accessibility for users who are visually impaired in collaboration with AFB. Drawing on AFB’s experience developing the fully accessible Helen Keller Archive, and the organization’s deep commitment to helping other organizations reach their digital…

Creating a Workplace Culture of Accessibility

January 2, 2020
You probably already know that developing, building, and supporting an inclusive organization begins with leader-driven awareness, and requires perpetual action and adaptability as market demands change. Let’s address an unsung hero of successful disability employment programs: procurement. Procurement is an essential component of business operations. Some of the “minor” elements procurement is involved in and can influence include: Profit: purchasing services/goods at the best price…
Author Tanner Gers
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Have a Blind or Low Vision Parent on Your Holiday Shopping List? Start Here.

December 10, 2019
Stacy Cervenka, Director Public Policy, American Foundation for the Blind
Stacy Cervenka
As the holiday season approaches, many of us find ourselves looking for gifts for family and friends that are thoughtful, meaningful, and useful. For people with parents on their gift lists, we want to get something that will make their lives easier or allow them precious moments of self-care. For sighted people who have a parent who is blind or has low vision on their list, choosing the perfect gift can be particularly confusing. Perhaps you love your child’s new booster seat, but is it…

From all of us at AFB, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27, 2019
Article from Knoxville publication reporting on Helen Keller's visit to Knoxville as part of her lecture tour
Article from Knoxville publication reporting on Helen Keller's visit to Knoxville as part of her lecture tour.
It was Thanksgiving 1941, and Helen Keller gave a lecture in Knoxville, Tennessee. She used the occasion to speak about the importance of education and employment for people who are blind. She took the opportunity to deliver a Thanksgiving message, remarking that despite “so much sorrow in the world, there still is so much to be thankful for—brave hearts and minds which understand that only through freedom can mankind truly live.” Just ten days later, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the United…
Author AFB Staff
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Employment Program Gaps

November 26, 2019
Over the past several months, AFB Policy and Research Advisor Sarah Malaier and I have researched and analyzed a wide variety of nationally focused employment programs for people with vision loss. The purpose of this project was to understand what types of programs are available to blind and low vision people who are looking to find employment, retain employment, and advance in their chosen career fields. Just as importantly, if not more so, we wanted to identify what services and resources…
Blog Topics Employment

On Veterans Day, a Look Back

November 8, 2019
photograph from 1919, just after World War I. Helen Keller has the arm of a newly blinded soldier. He has a bandage over his left eye and is using a cane to help him walk. They are walking down a woodsy path in Baltimore, Maryland. Behind them is a stone wall and a large house with many windows, which is the Red Cross Institute for the Blind. Bringing up the rear, also on the path, are Annie Sullivan, Polly Thomson, and two other men, one in a military uniform.
Helen Keller with a group of veterans from World War I, 1919.
The American Foundation for the Blind was founded in 1921 to advocate for soldiers blinded during World War I. The organization was formed with the support of M.C. Migel, a philanthropist who wanted to help the large number of veterans who lost their sight in the war. Under his leadership, AFB began its mission to: provide a national clearinghouse for information about vision loss create a forum for blindness service professionals generate new directions for research represent the needs of…
Author AFB Staff
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