Why Automated Scanners Aren’t the Solution

May 11, 2021
Tech Notes An automated scanner is a special piece of software which is mainly designed to scan and test a single web page or an entire website to determine whether or not a web application is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or Section 508 accessibility regulations. Often companies use these tools to quickly gauge compliance with the accessibility guidelines to make their website accessible. This is clearly a mistake. Automated scanners do have some uses.…

Introducing ‘Our History’: AFB’s New Historical Timeline

May 6, 2021
As part of the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) year-long centennial celebration, we recently published Our History, a robust new timeline outlining AFB’s past. Lesser-known milestones in advocacy, education, and technological innovation are all chronicled, from the creation of Talking Books in the 1930s, to the first international conference on AIDS-related vision loss in the 1990s, to our most recent work to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults and students who are…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Helen Keller, Reading

Sharing Our Story: 100 Years of Creating a World with No Limits

April 29, 2021
Hi there, As a man who is completely blind, I have personally benefited from the progress that AFB has made possible. I have also experienced a world of limits. When I was five years old, my retinas detached and I lost my eyesight. I was sent to a state residential school where I learned how to read and write braille, travel with a white cane, and type on a typewriter. I was taught to love myself, my body, and what it could do. Everything was possible: hiking, horseback riding, and even…
Author Kirk Adams
Blog Topics Personal Reflections

Is Your Website Accessible? Here's Something to Try.

April 26, 2021
Tech Notes Is your website accessible? It's a complicated question. There is certainly no shortage of automated scanners, tests, and overlays that purport to tell you what to fix, or supposedly "fix" it for you. But even if there was a perfect automated solution that would find and fix technical compliance issues (which there isn't, by the way, not even close), wouldn’t that be missing the point? If "accessible" is what we're aiming for, anything less is technically illegal, making it the…

Animal Friends: Helen Keller’s and Yours

April 26, 2021
Helen Keller and Polly Thomson, seated outside on the grass with German Shepherd dog nearby, circa 1955
Helen Keller loved animals! April 2021 is #NationalPetMonth, and as we post images from the Helen Keller Archive of some of the 16 pet dogs that Helen treasured during her long life, we invite you to submit images of your pets! Tell us how your animal friends have enriched your lives! In November of 1967, fifth grader Robin Gates wrote to Helen Keller to ask of Helen's dog Lioness and shares how she enjoys reading of Helen's life: 3126 Cold Springs Rd. Baldwinsville, N.Y. Nov. 19, 1967…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller

Celebrating Assistive Technology Awareness Day

April 14, 2021
Amir Rahimi at his desk, typing
Amir Rahimi working at his desk
Wednesday, April 14, 2021, is National Assistive Technology (AT) Awareness Day. AFB is committed to increasing access to AT and other accessible technologies as part of our public policy advocacy, and AccessWorld frequently features new technologies in its monthly issues. In honor of the day, we are highlighting what assistive technology means to people who are blind or have low vision. For those who already use assistive technology, we also encourage you to spread the word and raise awareness…

Making the Virtual Workplace Accessible

April 6, 2021
Tech Notes Many industries have accelerated their transition to a virtual workplace due to COVID-19 over the past year. The conventional office we are most used to has desks, pens, printers, and industry-specific equipment. The individual cubicles may be laid out to promote open collaboration or snugly compartmentalized for individual contribution. Thought was put into each component at some level—whether it be cost, compliance, efficiency, a well-deserved perk, or a dire necessity.…

APH President Dr. Craig Meador's Acceptance Speech for Helen Keller Achievement Award

March 26, 2021
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) has been a key steward of the history of blindness for more than 160 years. The organization has set the standard for how we adapt to and anticipate changes and innovate to meet new demands. For all of this and more, APH is a worthy recipient of the Helen Keller Achievement Award. Video Transcript: Hello, I’m Dr. Craig Meador. On behalf of APH and its 300-plus employees, I want to thank you for this very prestigious award. We’re grateful to…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics

White House Accessibility Policy

March 23, 2021
White House
Just as the White House is known as “The People’s House,” the White House webpage should be “The People’s Page,” a digitally inclusive place for everyone. High-profile web pages like this one provide a model for the rest regarding what a website can and should do to be inclusive. Recently, the White House website has been updated to include an accessibility statement. The statement is simple, and serves as a good model to emulate for any organization or company that is committed to digital…

Sam Latif Accepts the Helen Keller Achievement Award for Procter & Gamble

March 16, 2021
Procter & Gamble received a Keller Achievement Award for setting a sterling example through its diversity and inclusion initiatives. P&G has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to disability inclusion and making the company, its brands and services more inclusive for people with disabilities. On behalf of Procter & Gamble, the award was accepted by Sumaira "Sam" Latif. Sam is Company Accessibility Leader at Procter & Gamble. She has held multiple roles in IT for P&G…