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.
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).
Reflections—On Friday, November 7, HKNC will host a very special art reception. Reflections is 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. Details here, including Reflections art journal, and information about works of art for sale (with a portion of the proceeds to benefit HKNC).
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.
National White Cane Safety Day—The Lions of District MD 20K1 and the District Sight Preservation, Awareness and Action committee are holding their annual White Cane Blast Off event as part of a community outreach and low-vision awareness project. They will be reaching out to the Brooklyn community, distributing information on the White Cane laws, Lions Eye Health Program, and locations for testing your eyes. The groups will also be collecting used eyeglasses. Saturday, October 18, 10 am to 5 pm, at Community Bank/Utica and Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn. For more information contact Lions Chairwoman Donna Budai at email@example.com.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This national campaign raises awareness about disability employment issues, and it celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is “Expect. Employ. Empower.” Read about the history of NDEAM and get resources and ideas for what you can do.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.