The Pandemic's Impact

July 27, 2021
On July 20, my inbox and Facebook feed were filled with posts about Paralympian swimmer Becca Meyers, who is deafblind due to Usher’s Syndrome. Her reasonable request to have a personal care assistant with her during the Paralympics was denied by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), which cited the strict protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the denial, she withdrew from competing in Tokyo. The pandemic, and an inadequate institutional response to it,…

8 Ways to Be a Disability Rights Ally

July 26, 2021
Celebrate the anniversary of the ADA by taking action! It's Disability Pride Month, in celebration of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. What better time than the anniversary of the ADA to commit to creating a more…

Thank You!

July 23, 2021
Throughout the American Foundation for the Blind's 100-year history, we have confronted challenges and overcome obstacles in the name of a singular, overarching goal: to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or have low vision. It has been an honor to present the Centennial Conversation series, underscoring the theme of inclusivity that we strive to make an everyday reality. We can’t tell you how much your engagement, thoughtful questions, and positive feedback have meant to…
Author Kirk Adams
Blog Topics Personal Reflections

Let's Get Congress to Pass the Disability Access to Transportation Act

July 21, 2021
Let's get Congress to pass the Disability Access to Transportation Act. In Washington, there’s a lot of talk about infrastructure. Over the last two years, AFB has been working hard to ensure that the next surface transportation reauthorization acknowledges and addresses some of the transportation needs facing people who are blind or have low vision. We started by bringing attention to some of the challenges of using paratransit services and were pleased that one of the reforms that we asked…

Celebrating Disability Pride Month

July 15, 2021
Happy Disability Pride Month! Have you not heard of Disability Pride Month? I am not surprised! Even in my work as a research specialist for the American Foundation for the Blind, I have found that most of my professional colleagues have not previously heard of this pride month, either. Disability Pride Month occurs in July each year since 1990. What major piece of legislation was passed on July 26, 1990? You got it, the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the landmark legislation that…

Rounding up a Busy Week at AFB

July 14, 2021
It is a packed and productive week for the American Foundation for the Blind. We are pleased to announce the launch of the new research study, The Journey Forward: Impact of COVID-19 on Blind, Low Vision, and Deafblind U.S. Adults. We also have several AFB staff experts sitting on interesting and informative panel discussions, and we are now accepting applications for the next cohort of the Blind Leaders Development Program – for both fellows and mentors, to name just a few of the many goings…
Author John Mackin
Blog Topics Research, Public Policy

Share Your COVID-19 Journey

July 13, 2021
I recently picked up my container of Lysol wipes on our kitchen counter and stored it back under the sink. I couldn’t think of the last time I had wiped down groceries or a doorknob. As a person who has low vision, I feel my life is progressing back to how it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet there are other ways it is not. For example, I’m still not comfortable taking a rideshare service like Lyft. I also shudder each time I consider the challenges I had getting myself, my husband…

Building the Next Generation of Blind Leaders: A Blind Leaders Development Program Roundup

July 2, 2021
Since launching the Blind Leaders Development Program in 2020, we at the American Foundation for the Blind are pleased to have made great strides forward despite the unprecedented challenges of the last year and a half. The inaugural cohort not only successfully navigated the launch of a fledgling program, but did so during the tumultuous period of lockdowns and restrictions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a testament to the professional drive and commitment of these…

Happy Birthday to Helen Keller: A Woman Who Spoke Truth to Power...and Was A Real Person!

June 25, 2021
Eighty years ago, in May 1941, seven months before the United States entered the Second World War, Helen Keller visited the Rochester School for the Deaf and was asked if she thought that democracies would triumph over totalitarian aggressors, Helen replied "Yes, definitely, after a long, hard fight. Justice and truth are embodied in human democratic institutions.” In a year filled with challenges, including a bizarre idea that circulated on social media questioning Helen Keller’s existence…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller

Helen Keller in France, June 21, 1952

June 21, 2021
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: "In our small way we the blind are as indebted to Louis Braille as mankind is to Gutenberg…the raised letters under our fingers are…
Blog Topics Helen Keller