NEW YORK (March 20, 2017)—A century of social and policy breakthroughs that improved the lives of Americans who are blind and visually impaired is the inspiration behind a public service announcement (PSA) from the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) that is airing nationally this month in Comcast markets.
The global media and technology company is generously donating airtime for the 30-second spot, titled "Breakthroughs," through the end of March.
The content of the PSA frames AFB's accomplishments as "building on the legacy of Helen Keller," a 100-year history that covers the creation of the Talking Book, which ushered in a new era of literacy for the visually impaired in the 1930s, up to the passage of landmark acts of legislation to improve access in the 70s, the 90s, and in the 2000s.
Highlighting the organization’s past is a way of pointing the way forward, according to AFB President, Kirk Adams.
"Our 'Breakthroughs' PSA encapsulates a journey of activism and discovery that has opened doors to independence for people who are visually impaired while fundamentally redefining how our nation views the capabilities of people with disabilities," said Adams, "The message is that AFB continues to lead the way. Our commitment is to a future where there are no limits to what individuals with vision loss can strive for and achieve."
Adams noted a series of goals at the head of AFB's agenda, including greater legislative protections for students with visual impairments in the nation's schools and preparing for a rapidly aging U.S. population that will experience a high degree of vision decline. AFB is also working with major companies to ensure their technology and practices are compatible with the new era of digital inclusion and accessibility.
Adams went on to praise the contributions of AFB’s partners and collaborators in the development and distribution of the "Breakthroughs" PSA, including AT&T, Quinn Fable Advertising, Litton Entertainment, Bridge Multimedia and Comcast. Adams gave a special thank you to Comcast for making the PSA available to its 22.5 million video subscribers. "We're confident that our work together will increase awareness and inspire broad-based action to ensure future breakthroughs in equality and accessibility."
Comcast is committed to making its products and services accessible to the widest possible audience. Comcast involves people with disabilities in product design and development, and released the nation’s first talking cable TV interface. The company also has a dedicated customer support center to help people with disabilities get the most out of their entertainment experience. For its commitment to independence and inclusion, Comcast was named a 2015 Access Award winner and a 2016 Helen Keller Achievement Award winner.
Learn more about AFB's breakthroughs and impact at afb.org/impact. To view the Breakthroughs PSA, visit afb.org/breakthroughs.
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. Headquartered in New York, AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB.