International Women's Day 2021

March 8, 2021
In recognition of Women’s History Month and the incredible leadership of Helen Keller, our most famous advocate, AFB is hosting a panel discussion on “Women in Leadership: A Conversation About the Intersection of Gender and Visual Impairment," featuring a diverse group of visually impaired women in leadership roles—from corporations to politics, nonprofits, and small businesses. Join Us March 18, 2021, at 2 pm Eastern! Our distinguished panelists will address the key issues facing…

Share Your Photos: Let’s Show What Education Looks Like in 2021

January 20, 2021
The other night I was watching the local NBC affiliate’s news in Tucson, where I live. A veteran fourth-grade teacher has been teaching online this year. Each morning when she enters her classroom, she is greeted by empty chairs and doesn’t see her students until she logs in to Zoom. She does not like those empty chairs greeting her! One of her student’s parents put an end to those empty chairs by creating life size cutouts of each student and putting them in the chairs. Those pictures sure…

Blind Wikipedia Editor Dr. Skylar Covich on Wikipedia’s 20th Anniversary

January 14, 2021
Most of us are probably familiar with Wikipedia, the free Internet Encyclopedia that anyone can edit. For Dr. Skylar Covich, his journey with Wikipedia stretches back to 2003, almost as long as the site has been in existence. In light of Wikipedia’s 20th anniversary on January 15th, Skylar recently reflected upon his journey with this vast knowledge-based resource, and suggested where he would like to see it go. Skylar was born totally blind, with Leber's congenital amaurosis -- a group of…

Learn Disability History

January 6, 2021
Teachers and parents! Did you know that the American Foundation for the Blind—where Helen Keller worked for over 40 years—has created free, accessible lesson plans for teaching disability history? Now is a great time to teach your children or students what blind and deafblind writers, activists, and leaders have accomplished. The lessons are designed to teach middle and high school students how to do their own research using digital and physical archives. Topics include the…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller, Education

Celebrating World Braille Day

January 4, 2021
Every January 4, we celebrate the birthday of Louis Braille, who developed his famous braille code when he was only a teenager. As an avid braille reader myself, I am proud of the American Foundation for the Blind's enduring commitment to fostering braille literacy throughout the 100 years of our existence. In the early days of our organization, AFB worked hard to standardize the English braille code, knowing that would make it cheaper and easier to produce. Our first CEO, Dr. Robert Irwin,…
Author Kirk Adams
Blog Topics Braille

Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum Discusses Access and Engagement Report in EdSurge Story

December 22, 2020
On December 18, EdSurge, an educational technology company that publishes newsletters and operates databases used by venture capitalists, teachers, and school administrators, published a story titled “COVID-19 Is Costing Visually Impaired Students Time That Can’t Be Made Up.” The story features interviews with AFB Director of Research Dr. L. Penny Rosenblum as well as parents of K-12 students who are experiencing the challenges that come with remote instruction during the pandemic, especially…
Author John Mackin

What You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Relief Package

December 22, 2020
After a marathon week of negotiating, Congress has wrapped up final deliberations and voted to pass a COVID-19 relief package for individuals, businesses, and local governments, which are continuing to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. On hold since May, when the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, Congress finally agreed to provide about $900 billion in aid as part of a massive 5,600-page year-end omnibus appropriations bill. That means the bill will fund both coronavirus relief…

TIME Tells That There's More To Helen Keller Than What You Learned at School

December 16, 2020
TIME publishing company has produced a terrific video on Helen Keller's role in disability history, "Co-Founding the ACLU, Fighting for Labor Rights and Other Helen Keller Accomplishments Students Don't Learn in School." The piece reflects upon Keller’s activism in the sphere of women’s rights, workers’ rights and civil rights—as well as her fierce advocacy for people with vision loss. The video interviews academics and activists such as Professor Georgina Kleege, the…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller

Taking The Next Steps: Moving From Understanding to Solutions

December 10, 2020
We are grateful to the thousands of individuals who have responded to our surveys. As you well know, the research reports that we released for Flatten Inaccessibility and Access and Engagement demonstrated significant impacts of the pandemic on access to education, transportation, employment, and healthcare. As AFB continues our efforts to ensure that policymakers recognize and resolve these issues, we have prepared a set of resources that you can use in your own self-advocacy. For each…

Thank You, P.J. Locke!

December 4, 2020
We were thrilled to learn that Denver Broncos Safety P.J. Locke has chosen to represent the American Foundation for the Blind with the My Cause My Cleats initiative! My Cause My Cleats is an NFL program that allows players to use their platform by customizing their gameday cleats to raise awareness for causes they are passionate about, and in some cases, raising funds from the auction of the cleats. It means so much to me personally on several different levels. I suddenly became blind in…