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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

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

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.

Touch History: An installation by Kathleen Granados at Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace, New York, New York (Near Amsterdam Avenue and 162nd Street). With drop-in touch tours for individuals who are blind or partially sighted, every Tuesday in November, 1 to 3 pm, and Saturdays, December 13 & 20, 12 to 2 pm. Reservations required. For more information, or to RSVP: 212-923-8008, or

Sands Point Garden Club celebrates renovation of Sensory Garden with dedications in memory of longtime Long Island advocates. Story and photos

On Thursday, August 28 friends, family, and co-workers (present and past) came to celebrate Debbie Costa’s retirement. Debbie was the Director of Suffolk County Rehabilitation Services for more than 25 years, and is much beloved in the community. After some visiting with the grandchildren, Debbie and her husband Ray will continue volunteering with the senior center for visually impaired and blind individuals that they created in partnership with the Huntington Lions Club. We wish Debbie all the best and will miss her dearly. Photos here.

On Friday, August 2 our Day Habilitation program in Hempstead held their annual block party. Photos here.

Family and friends gathered with campers from Camp Helen Keller on August 15th to celebrate the camp finale. Story, photos, and video.

The New York State Grand Lodge Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in America, Gift of Sight marked their 5th Annual Activities Day with Camp Helen Keller with the donation of a 15-passenger van. Details, story on News 12 Long Island, and photos of Activities Day.

Dr. Robert J. Smithdas, former Director of Community Education for Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, has passed away at age 89. Article.

Jennifer S. Goodwin, MPA, CFRE, has been appointed Chief Development Officer of Helen Keller Services for the Blind, as announced today by Thomas J. Edwards, President and CEO. News release.

CLC graduation 2014

Preschool Graduation: Family and friends gathered on Friday, June 20th to celebrate the 25th annual Preschool Graduation of Helen Keller Services for the Blind’s Children’s Learning Center. Story and photos.

HKNC marked Helen Keller Deaf Blind Awareness Week (June 22 through 28) with a national campaign. Read about it in Newsday and USA Today.

HKNC has announced its inaugural “Dr. Robert J. Smithdas Award.” Coinciding with Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week (June 22 to June 2), this year’s award recipients include Congressmen Kevin Yoder (R-KS), Mark Takano (D-CA) and Steve Israel (D-NY). Story.

“High-Tech Items Giving Deaf-Blind Online Access”—read an AP article about our effort to distribute high-technology equipment to assist low-income deaf and blind consumers across the country. Yahoo News video about the equipment distribution program; and transcript of video.

Golf Outing 2014

June 2nd Golf Outing:  Thanks to all for making our 24th Annual Golf Classic such a success! Lots of photos here, including guest golfer Tiki Barber (in photo at right with Deborah Rodriguez of HKSB/HKNC). A huge thanks to Allison Burrows for all the wonderful photos! Winners and sponsors here.

Doo Wop wrapup—331 people rocked to the beats of The Chiffons and Jay and the Americans at the Doo Wop Benefit Concert on May 16, which raised more than $10,000 for HKNC’s Residence Renovation project. Thanks to everyone who attended and lent their support!

Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) would like to thank The Community Chest of Port Washington for their recent support of our Destiny Home, a residence that supports the lifestyles of five individuals who are deaf-blind with intellectual disabilities. The Community Chest was established in 1949 to raise funds for charities serving the Port Washington community. For more information about The Community Chest of Port Washington, please visit their website.

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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