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Helen Keller Services for the Blind enables individuals who are blind, visually-impaired, deaf-blind and/or have combined hearing-vision loss to live, work and thrive in their community of choice.

Photo of HKSB staff and clients

Learn more about HKSB, including our many services and programs for children and adults, and our upcoming workshops. Our FAQ page addresses questions about who qualifies for HKSB services and how to participate in our programs.

Information about the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC).

Read our privacy policy.

What’s New

As a result of a Presidential Proclamation made by Ronald Reagan in 1984, the last week of June has been designated as Helen Keller Deaf Blind Awareness Week. Every year, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) celebrates this anniversary with a national campaign. This year’s theme is: “#TGIM—Thank Goodness It’s Monday. Every weekday, the deaf-blind workforce is making an impact at companies across the country. Deaf-blind workers are a force to be reckoned with.” More information and promotional materials.

We are excited to present our latest Helen Keller Works! Initiative—a 13-week comprehensive paid training program in commercial cleaning and porter services. We’ve partnered with several cleaning agencies that are eager and willing to interview our graduates. Potential trainees and employer-partners, read more about the Helen Keller Works! Initiative.

The 25th Annual Golf Classic is Monday, June 1, 2015—online registration.

Gala 2015—online registration is now live! Save the date: Thursday, September 17, 2015. Details and registration.

Save the Date: Saturday, June 20th. We’ve partnered with California Pizza Kitchen in Westbury on June 20th for a fundraiser for Camp Helen Keller. If you’re in the neighborhood, please drop in and bring the attached flyer with you. California Pizza Kitchen will donate 20% of your check to Camp Helen Keller. This is an ALL DAY event!

3/23/15—An interesting Op Ed appeared this weekend in the New York Times regarding the vote for a woman on the $20 bill. We were very happy to see that many noteworthy individuals and their stories are still being heard today. However, of the final 20 who were nominated, we were saddened that one of the greatest political activists, authors and lecturers of the 20th century was not nominated. Her prolific writings and the courage she displayed throughout her life were all the more powerful and inspirational because she was deaf-blind. A case could be made for not only Helen Keller being on the #$20 bill, but also for it to have Braille.

Press Announcement: Helen Keller Services Unveils New LookNew contemporary image provides clarity across organization and its divisions. Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) has begun a rebranding effort to better identify themselves, announced Thomas J. Edwards, President and CEO. News release.

Helen Keller Services branding graphic

photo of Dan Callahan and Andy Fisher

News—The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths & Adults (HKNC) was awarded a $391,662 grant from the Lavelle Fund for the Blind for creation of a professional internship program for individuals who are deaf-blind, announced Thomas J. Edwards, President & CEO of Helen Keller Services, which operates HKNC. (Photo: Dan Callahan, President of Lavelle, left; Andy Fisher, Executive Director of Lavelle, right). News release.

Our latest video is up—meet Angelo, and be inspired!

We’re official! On January 23, dozens were on hand to celebrate the opening of HKSB’s new Suffolk County location. Made possible through generous funding obtained by State Senator Philip Boyle (4th Senate District), the new office is larger and more centrally located for clients. The 3900-square-foot facility includes a Low Vision clinic, rehabilitation services, and an assistive technology center. Thanks to the many representatives from the NYS Commission for the Blind for not only participating but for also lending their support! Photos of the ribbon-cutting here.

Haben Girma

Haben Girma elected to the Board of Trustees. Read official press release.

Dates for Camp Helen Keller are set: July 13 through August 14, 2015. More information here.

Santa Claus Came to Town! Santa paid a visit on December 18 to the little ones in the Children’s Learning Center. Santa’s helpers included representatives of District 20-K1 Lions Club International—chair Donna Budai and President Diane Chewett. They brought more than $500 worth of presents, with something for each and every one of the children, making this year’s festivities very special. Some photos from the event; for the full album, visit our FaceBook page.

Upcoming Sensory Tours at The Brooklyn Museum—inclusive tours designed for both individuals who are blind or partially sighted and curious adults interested in experiencing art beyond sight. Each month the tours explore a different collection area or special exhibition through rich verbal descriptions, smell, taste, and tactile experiences. Dates: Thursday, January 15, 6:30 pm; Saturday, February 14, 2:30 pm; Thursday, March 19, 6:30 pm. Tours are free with Museum admission, but preregistration is required. For more information call (718) 501-6229 or email access@brooklynmuseum.org.

HKSB in Suffolk County has moved. Our new office is located at 3385 Veterans Memorial Highway, Ronkonkoma. (View on Google maps.) The phone number remains 631-424-0022. (If you encounter a problem with the phone, please try 516-833-8329.)

Press announcement, November 11, 2014: The American Association of the Deaf-Blind (AADB) and the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC) have joined together to call for immediate action to stop the planned cessation of Purple Communications’ IP Relay Service, a Federal Communications Commission-regulated service, on November 14, 2014. Read press release here.

Reflections—On Friday, November 7, HKNC hosted a very special art reception—Reflections, a unique artist showcase featuring the work of four Master Artists who have shared their gifts with current and former students of HKNC, and the reflective works of art our students have created. Story and photos.

Press announcement, October 14, 2014: The HKSB Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Sue Ruzenski to the position of Executive Director, HKNC; Chris Woodfill to the position of Associate Executive Director of HKNC; and the promotion of Laura Rocchio to the position of Director, Direct Services, HKNC. (Laura has been serving as the Acting Director since June 2013.) Read the official press release here.

Stories That Touch Us

HKSB intern Sarah Baez

Sarah’s Blog—read along with us as our Development intern Sarah Baez regularly shares her experiences working with HKSB. Sarah’s Blog.

“Live Like Rose”—The BRIC Media Arts program awarded HKSB an in-kind grant to produce a video that would help reach out to individuals in the community who may have vision problems and need assistance. Here’s the resulting video, produced by Andrew Fillipone, Jr.

The organization InTandem gives visually impaired people a chance to ride bikes by riding in pairs on tandem bikes. The “captain,” who can see, steers the bike, while the “stoker” pedals. Story and video on CBS New York.

During training at HKNC, Orientation and Mobility students experience real life situations and sometimes work together in groups to accomplish their goals. Read about a mobility class on the road.

At the recent Employment and Visual Impairment Conference at Baruch College, an HKNC Community Service Program participant spoke about the vocational training and employment opportunities the Community Service Program afforded her. Read her employment success story.

“If I knew how to do a cartwheel, I would!”—that’s how an HKNC Orientation and Mobility student described the first time she walked by herself down several blocks of a busy main street and crossed at the intersections without having someone she knew as her human guide. Story here.

On May 14, HKSB participated in the 3rd Annual Not-for-Profit Summit presented by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. Story here.

HKNC student Ivy S. had long dreamed of running a marathon. Read about how a Peer to Peer Support Group at the HKNC Residence lounge helped make her dream come true.

James Palmero first came to HKSB in 2001 for orientation and mobility training. These days, he’s living his dream. “Helen Keller Services gave me the freedom to get around and finally teach.” Read about James on Huffington Post.

Employment & Volunteer Opportunities

Our Employment and Volunteer Opportunities page lists a number of current open positions and volunteer opportunities.

Helen Keller Services for the Blind (HKSB) is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all qualified applicants and employees without discrimination as to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status, marital/or domestic partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and citizenship status in all employment decisions, including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, layoff and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Each staff member is responsible for creating an atmosphere free of discrimination and harassment, sexual or otherwise and maintaining a respectful workplace.

Reasonable accommodation provided upon request for qualified individuals with disabilities.

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