On Veterans Day, a Look Back

November 8, 2019
photograph from 1919, just after World War I. Helen Keller has the arm of a newly blinded soldier. He has a bandage over his left eye and is using a cane to help him walk. They are walking down a woodsy path in Baltimore, Maryland. Behind them is a stone wall and a large house with many windows, which is the Red Cross Institute for the Blind. Bringing up the rear, also on the path, are Annie Sullivan, Polly Thomson, and two other men, one in a military uniform.
Helen Keller with a group of veterans from World War I, 1919.
The American Foundation for the Blind was founded in 1921 to advocate for soldiers blinded during World War I. The organization was formed with the support of M.C. Migel, a philanthropist who wanted to help the large number of veterans who lost their sight in the war. Under his leadership, AFB began its mission to: provide a national clearinghouse for information about vision loss create a forum for blindness service professionals generate new directions for research represent the needs of…
Author AFB Staff
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AFB President and CEO Kirk Adams Pens Employment-Focused Op-Ed for Seattle Times

November 1, 2019
“I was five years old when I lost my vision,” begins Kirk Adams’ essay published in the November 1 edition of the Seattle Times. The op-ed is an autobiographical account of Kirk’s own employment journey, interspersed with the employment-driven initiatives being undertaken by the American Foundation for the Blind. Kirk outlines how he learned how to use a cane and read braille at a young age, his pursuit of multiple secondary degrees, and the frustrations he experienced of prospective…

Bringing Leaders Together: Recapping the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Employment Summit

October 31, 2019
participants at the 2019 Dallas-Fort Worth Employment Summit chatting in between sessions
Employment summit participants chatting in between sessions
Over a two-day period falling roughly halfway through National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the American Foundation for the Blind held its second employment summit at AT&T’s Dallas headquarters. Fifty-five influencers from various blindness organizations and companies interested in disability inclusion in the workplace participated in the invitation-only summit. Nine major companies were represented, including: AIG Life and Retirement Apple AT&T Bank of America Deloitte…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Employment

“The Making of Blind Leaders”: AFB’s Megan Aragon Interview on Reid My Mind Podcast

October 23, 2019
Megan Aragon
Megan Aragon
AFB Director of Knowledge Advancement Programs Megan Aragon was recently a guest on the Reid My Mind podcast. She discusses her own journey with blindness, the advent of the Blind Leaders Development Program, and other assorted topics. The episode is titled “The Making of Blind Leaders.” The Reid My Mind podcast collects stories and profiles of compelling people impacted by all degrees of blindness and disability. Additionally, Producer and Host Thomas Reid explores his own experiences in his…

Read AFB’s 12 Blind Leaders You Should Know (Who Aren’t Helen Keller) on BuzzFeed

October 18, 2019
Helen Keller and Robert Irwin: Helen is touching a phonograph and smiling
Helen Keller and Robert B. Irwin
AFB is on BuzzFeed! In light of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we wanted to spread awareness of some truly great leaders who are blind or visually impaired, that audiences might not be so familiar with. Helen Keller, rightfully, is perhaps the best-known example setter of an individual who left her mark on the world as a leader in political and social change (including and especially her work with the American Foundation for the Blind). But there are countless other…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Helen Keller

Blindness Hits Primetime — How Accurate Is This Is Us’s New Blind Character?

October 15, 2019
NBC’s syndicated series “This Is Us” consistently ranks in the top three most watched TV shows in the United States. For the 2018-2019 television season, it tied with “The Masked Singer” as broadcast’s top entertainment series. The show tells the story of the Pearson family and jumps between the present day, the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and the future. In the first episode of the show’s fourth season, “This Is Us” creators introduce us to Jack Damon, the son of show mainstays Kate and Toby. Though…
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Making Helen Keller's Legacy Even More Accessible

October 10, 2019
Helen Selsdon speaking at the event celebrating AFB's archival collections moving to APH museum
Helen Selsdon, AFB archivist, speaking at the announcement event
Yesterday, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) was proud to announce that we will be partnering with the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to expand public access to the Helen Keller Archival Collection and the archives of AFB. AFB is loaning its historic collections to the APH Museum, making Louisville, Kentucky, an important center for the study of the history of blindness and disabilities in the United States. Thanks to generous support from the National Endowment for the…
Author Helen Selsdon
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AFB Consulting Applauds Supreme Court Accessibility Decision

October 9, 2019
This week, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the Domino's Pizza case, which means that the Ninth Circuit court ruling stands: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to online spaces. The Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling mirrors a Department of Justice opinion expressed in a letter to Congress last year, that "this interpretation is consistent with the ADA's title III requirement that the goods, services, privileges, or activities provided by places of public accommodation be equally…
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AFB Is Working to Strengthen Paratransit Services

October 7, 2019
Stacy Cervenka, Director Public Policy. In the background the US Capitol Building can be seen
Stacy Cervenka, AFB's Director of Public Policy
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Throughout this month, corporations and other organizations renew and refocus their commitments to addressing the barriers that face Americans with disabilities in the workforce. The American Foundation for the Blind hopes to address a significant barrier to employment for people with vision loss by increasing our focus on transportation, which remains one of the most trenchant barriers blind people face when seeking and…
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AFB’s George Abbott Hosts Employment-Focused Webinar

October 1, 2019
George Abott, wearing a suit, against a gray background.
George Abbott
On September 24, and in light of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, George Abbott, AFB’s Chief Knowledge Advancement Officer, hosted a webinar sponsored by Getting Hired, a recruitment solution dedicated to helping inclusive employers hire professional individuals and veterans with disabilities. The webinar was titled “Hiring & Retaining Talent with Visual Impairments.” George’s presentation included advice and best practices on hiring and retaining people with…
Author AFB Staff
Blog Topics Employment