Helen Keller worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for more than 40 years. She was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on June 27, 1880, and became deaf and blind at 19 months. Few could have imagined the leading role she would go on to play in many of the significant political, social, and cultural movements of the 20th century. Until her passing in 1968, she worked unceasingly to improve the lives of people with disabilities. As caretakers of Helen Keller's archival collection and legacy, we are honored to share her history with you. Learn more about Helen Keller by exploring her letters, speeches, artifacts, and photographs in the Helen Keller Archive.
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:
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.
The 20th century was tumultuous. As a fierce champion of civil rights, Helen Keller would applaud the nation’s demand for equal justice for all its citizens, and would be thrilled by the active engagement of so many young people to improve the world we live in.
"Education should train the child to use his brains, to make for himself a place in the world and maintain his rights even when it seems that society would shove him into the scrap-heap."
-Helen Keller, "Going Back to School," The Home Magazine, September 1934
Happy 154th Birthday, Anne Sullivan Macy! In light of this special occasion, we took a field trip deep into the digital Helen Keller Archive to unearth a lesser-known story of Helen's brilliant teacher...
Helen Keller was born 139 years ago today! Keller worked for AFB for 44 years. Within that time, and after her death in 1968, AFB amassed an enormous trove of materials by and about her. This extraordinary collection is a goldmine of social, political, and cultural history. It also presents a unique opportunity to teach and learn about Keller’s life, the times in which she lived, the history of disabilities, and the importance of universal accessibility.