No Limits: Accessible Technology from Helen Keller to Google

June 12, 2017
Helen Keller trying an electric braillewriter at the offices of the American Foundation for the Blind in New York City, 1954. This Thursday evening, the American Foundation for the Blind will be honoring Google for pouring its considerable talent and resources into developing technologies that improve how people with vision loss live, work, and play. This past year saw significant accessibility improvements in a range of Google's products, including the Android mobile operating system and…

From Helen Keller to Netflix: Making Popular Culture Accessible

June 7, 2017
Helen in her dressing room in a vaudeville theatre, circa 1920 On June 15, the American Foundation for the Blind will be honoring Netflix with a Helen Keller Achievement Award for its work to broaden access to television shows, documentaries, and feature films on its streaming service. Netflix has added over 3,500 hours of described content (learn more about video description) since launching its first audio described title over two years ago—Marvel’s Daredevil, a show about a blind…

Analyzing Labor Markets and Employment Outcomes for the American Foundation for the Blind

June 4, 2017
Introduction Hello, AFB community, I'm Lorenzo Amani, currently a second-year doctoral student at Virginia Tech in the College of Public Administration and Public Affairs. I'm also a graduate assistant for Virginia Tech's Office of Budgeting and Financial Planning. My research interests are in labor market policy analysis, human capital management, and workforce development. I'm assisting the AFB staff this summer to develop various research designs that could inform employment and workforce…

Join Us in Celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day

May 16, 2017
Kirk Adams is president and CEO of the American Foundation for the Blind. We are delighted to join our friends and colleagues in celebrating the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day, a day designed to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities. At the American Foundation for the Blind, we are committed to removing barriers, creating solutions, and expanding possibilities for people with visual impairments so they can…

A Conversation with Architect Chris Downey

May 14, 2017
On June 15, the American Foundation for the Blind will be honoring architect Chris Downey with a Helen Keller Achievement Award for his exemplary leadership in accessible design, and dedication to creating enriching and helpful environments for people who are blind or visually impaired. Downey lost his sight in 2008, and has since gone on to found his own consulting firm, Architecture for the Blind. He specializes in designing workplaces, museum environments, and vision rehabilitation centers…

For Teacher Appreciation Week, Enjoy Helen Keller's Tributes to Her Teacher, Annie Sullivan

May 9, 2017
"What do I consider a teacher should be? One who breathes life into knowledge so that it takes new form in progress and civilization." - Helen Keller in a speech to the National Education Association, 1938 Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan playing chess, 1900 Few people in the United States have written more eloquently about the transformative power of education than Helen Keller. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we looked back at Helen's reflections on the importance of education, and…
Blog Topics Education, Helen Keller

National Teacher Appreciation Day Is May 9, 2017

May 8, 2017
This week, we pay homage to teachers and the tireless work they perform and the meaningful impact they have on our children's lives. Teachers of students who are visually impaired work with a wide variety of students every day. They provide educational services to students of all ages and ability levels who are learning academic skills, as well as skills needed for success outside of the classroom. AFB CareerConnect has developed a wide variety of resources for teachers working with students…

American Health Care Act Passes House: Learn How It May Impact People with Disabilities

May 3, 2017
The House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) today, 217-213. The bill will now go to the Senate. The New York Times reports that provisions of the plan would cut Medicaid by $880 billion, or 25 percent, over 10 years and impose a “per-capita cap” on funding for certain groups of people, such as children and the elderly—a change that would convert Medicaid from an entitlement designed to cover any costs incurred to a more limited program. The New York Times…
Author Mark Richert
Blog Topics In the News, Public Policy

The Gift that Keeps Giving: Reviving an Historic Home in Monroe, N.Y. with Strong Ties to Helen Keller

April 28, 2017
Helen Selsdon here, the archivist at the American Foundation for the Blind. Back in March 2016 I received an email from a gentleman asking me about a house called Rest Haven in upstate New York. I knew about this house and its connection to AFB and I wondered what he wanted to know. Little did I anticipate the wonderful story that was about to unfold. It is my great pleasure to introduce Timothy Mitts, the man behind an incredible campaign to save an historic building that was once owned by…

AFB Joins Coalition Urging Careful Use of Data in Disability Stories

April 20, 2017
Recently, the Washington Post discussed Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in both a headline story and a Sunday editorial. The article and editorial drew pessimistic conclusions based upon selective interviews as well as analysis of data from the Social Security Administration SSDI and SSI Annual Reports. On April 13, the Talk Poverty website, run by the Center for American Progress, published a strong statement about the Post’s use of…