Helen Keller cutting a 3-tiered cake on her 75th birthday at her home in Westport, CT. The cake is being presented by M. Robert Barnett (AFB) who is on her right and Eric T. Boulter (AFOB) who is on her left. A single candle is on the cake and Barnett and Boulter both touch the cake.

Today marks the 142nd birthday of Helen Keller!

Helen paved the way for so many of us to follow in her example of innovation, courage, and advocacy. When Helen joined AFB in 1924, her work led to state commissions for the blind, funding for rehabilitation centers, and increased access to education for students who are blind or have low vision.

The Helen Keller Archive contains over 475 speeches and essays that she wrote on topics as varied as faith, blindness prevention, women's rights, birth control, socialism, the rise of fascism in Europe, and atomic energy. Helen was a prolific author. She used a braille typewriter to prepare her manuscripts and then copied them on a regular typewriter. Her autobiography has been translated into 50 languages and remains in print to this day.

On today, her birthday, we are reminded of her call to action.

"I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life."

The Open Door, 1957

At AFB, we are invested in the work of creating a world of no limits for people who are blind or have low vision, through groundbreaking research into the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who are blind or have low vision, to workforce inclusion initiatives like the Blind Leaders Development Program and the newly launched AFB Talent Lab.

Because we believe, as Helen Keller did, that "To understand is essential to progress," AFB has published the international peer-reviewed journal of record, Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, for over a century and counting, and covers cutting-edge products and technologies in AccessWorld®: Technology and People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.

In honor of Helen’s birthday, we hope you will consider making a sustaining donation in support of this work. Even a small monthly gift will not only shine a light on Helen Keller’s incredible accomplishments, it will help us here at AFB to continue building on her legacy.

Author AFB Staff
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