Helen Keller worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for more than 40 years. She was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880, and became deaf and blind at 19 months. Few could have imagined the leading role she would go on to play in many of the significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century. Until her passing in 1968, she worked unceasingly to improve the lives of people with disabilities. As caretakers of Helen Keller's archival collection and legacy, we are honored to share her history with you. Learn more about Helen Keller by exploring her letters, speeches, artifacts, and photographs in the Helen Keller Archive.

Today marks the 143rd birthday of Helen Keller, who remains one of the great icons of inspiration in American history. As we take time to remember Helen’s impact on the world, we want to draw attention to those who walked alongside her during her life. It’s in their stories that Helen’s greatness truly comes to light, and we’re reminded that we’re strongest when we’re not alone.

For many Americans, this long-weekend marks the beginning of summer, when families across the country dust off their coolers and unpack their beach chairs from winter storage. But, as families make their way to the shore or their local park, it’s important to pause and remind ourselves of the significance this holiday plays in our freedom and independence, particularly for those within the blindness field.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is pleased to announce registration is now open for the 2023 AFB Leadership Conference, April 19-21 at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, Virginia. This premier event in the field of blindness and low vision convenes leaders from across the country, providing an excellent opportunity to grow in knowledge and network with collaborators in the field.

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!

Donald Wedewer speaking from a lectern at the Helen Keller Centennial Congress in Boston, MA, 1980. Courtesy, Helen Keller Archive.The American Foundation for the Blind mourns the passing of Donald H. Wedewer, 96, of Charleston, South Carolina, a former AFB trustee and beloved colleague who committed his life to service.

On October 11, 2021, the FDR Memorial Legacy Committee (FDR Committee) hosted a celebration to commemorate the 137th birthday of former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt with a wreath-laying ceremony at the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC.

The wreath-laying coincides with the 75th anniversary of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt becoming chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights and drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Taken outdoors. Helen Keller with a group of women standing behind her holding parasols.

A year ago today, the United States celebrated the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This federal amendment prohibits denying citizens the right to vote based on sex. In effect, recognizing a woman’s right to vote.

Helen Keller gave a speech to the faculty and students of the Sorbonne in Paris, June 21, 1952. Helen was in France for the reinternment of Louis Braille's body to the Pantheon in Paris from his village in Coupvray. In the following film clip, hear Helen deliver part of her speech in French honoring Louis Braille. Regarding the importance of braille, Helen states: