For nearly a century, AFB has led efforts to expand possibilities for people with vision loss. We've done it by pushing the boundaries of technology while fighting continuously for policies that eradicate barriers to learning, employment, and full participation in society. The resulting breakthroughs have been nothing short of transformative. AFB remains a champion of possibilities — an incubator of breakthroughs — the more outsized and ambitious the better. We're proud of our history—and we want to keep making history with you, together. Your support makes breakthroughs possible, and your donation makes a difference.
Watch our Breakthroughs video or the 30-second PSA to learn more:
"Calling attention to the needs of the blind and the deaf by her public appearances, Helen worked endlessly to gain for the more enlightened treatment, more schools, more homes..."
Founded in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind builds on the legacy of Helen Keller by advocating for access and equality, and advancing significant breakthroughs for millions of people with vision loss.
1924 — Helen Keller begins her 44-year tenure at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB).
In 1932, AFB develops Talking Books and Talking Book machines. With access to news, literature and entertainment, Americans with vision loss connect with the world.
In 1938, AFB champions the Wagner O'Day Act, opening employment to thousands of people with vision loss.
In 1945, AFB is instrumental in the establishment of the Blinded Veterans Association — helping young servicemen get back on their feet after the war.
In 1975, AFB works to secure the rights of children with disabilities, providing them with a free, appropriate public education.
In 1985, AFB helps to establish the National Association of Parents of Children with Visual Impairments.
In the 1980s, AFB's Foundations series becomes the leading texts used by university programs and rehabilitation professionals worldwide.
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act is enacted to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities.
In 2002, building upon decades of work in the field of technology, AFB opens AFB Tech to ensure that technology is usable by people with vision loss. That same year, AFB guarantees every blind American the right to vote privately and independently through the Help America Vote Act.
In 2004, AFB advocates for the timely distribution of braille, large print and electronic textbooks in schools. Now visually impaired children can keep up with classmates. And get their homework done in time!
In 2010, AFB champions a communications law requiring TV programs and smartphones to be accessible to millions of Americans with vision loss, providing greater access to information in the digital age.
2017 — Helen Keller’s archives are made available online.
2018 — The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act becomes law, ensuring that students with visual impairments can thrive in school.
2021 — AFB celebrates its 100th Anniversary.
2028 — the first blind President of the United States is elected.
For almost 100 years, the American Foundation for the Blind has pioneered breakthroughs in technology, education, employment and literacy ensuring brighter tomorrows for people with vision loss.
With your help, we will continue to envision a much brighter future.
Because someday this little guy is going to drive a car — on the moon!
To learn more, visit AFB.org.
Special thanks to Quinn Fable Advertising, AT&T, Bridge Multimedia, and Litton Entertainment for making our Breakthroughs PSAs possible.
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