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American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) staff, and members of the project team will demonstrate the features of AFB’s fully accessible digital Helen Keller Archive. This digital collection is pioneering in that it is accessible to visitors who are blind, deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind, as well as sighted and hearing audiences.

Helen Keller was a leading advocate for people with visual impairments, and likely the most famous person with a disability in the 20th century. Moreover, she loved NYC! Helen, her teacher Anne Sullivan Macy, and their assistant Polly Thomson lived in Forest Hills, Queens from 1917 until two years after Anne’s death in 1936, at which time Helen and Polly moved to Westport, Connecticut. Manhattan was home to AFB’s headquarters, first on 46th Street, and then on 16th Street (the latter building is now the Center for Jewish History). Helen Keller and blindness advocacy are intertwined with NYC, and Keller wrote about New York’s landmarks and commuted regularly to AFB’s offices in Manhattan.

Navigating to digitized documents that focus on these topics, the digital project team will lead attendees through the digital archive, explaining the challenges of creating a fully accessible collection and its ins and outs.

Equipment: Laptops optional

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