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).
On December 1, we’re joining #GivingTuesday, a national day of generosity, to help make a big impact on Helen Keller Services for the Blind. Here are a few ways you can be a part of it: • Consider making a gift • Help us get the word out on social media, using @HKSB_news and the hashtag #GivingTuesday • Take photos to post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram • Do something kind for another person! With your support, we can continue to provide services to those who need it most! “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller
On November 12 the Aloft Brooklyn Hotel and HKSB’s Employment Services department collaborated to host the first Mentor Day program—allowing five individuals who are legally blind to shadow each hotel department head for the day. Each participant was paired with an Aloft department head and had the opportunity to not only shadow but actually engage in the hotel’s daily activities. At the end of the day, an Aloft representative said “we learned more from them than they learned from us.” Thank you Aloft for providing this amazing training opportunity!
HKS mourns the passing of its former Board trustee, Owen Brooks. Read about Mr. Brooks and his remarkable career. Photo: Owen Brooks (center) with Board chair Chris Maher (on left) and Board trustee Phil Stenger (on right).
2015 Gala—And a great time was had by all! Recap and photos from the night, on Facebook.
Video clip of President Obama, Haben Girma, and Alice Wong highlighting how technology empowers people with disabilities.
An action-packed, fun-filled 6th annual Camp Helen Keller Activities Day took place on July 21, with The New York State Grand Lodge Foundation, Order Sons of Italy in America, Gift of Sight and Camp Helen Keller. The event was held at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County and included organized games, bounce castles, food, and the much-loved Italian history quiz session. An amazing, memorable time was had by all! Photos.
HKNC celebrates ADA—On July 20, HKNC held a panel discussion, Reflection and Beyond—Celebrating 25 Years of the American Disabilities Act. More info and photos.
July is American Disability Act (ADA) Awareness Month! We’ll be posting activities in celebration of the 25th anniversary all month long. If you have an activity, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can help spread the word!
6/27/15—Let us celebrate Helen Keller, the inspiration for all we do, on her birthday today. Helen was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Photos, above: Helen Keller with Charlie Chaplin during an early trip to Hollywood.
Above—celebrating Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, top row from left to right: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone; Councilwoman Dina M. De Giorgio of the Town of North Hempstead (District 6); Town Clerk Wayne H. Wink, Sr. (Town of North Hempstead) and Councilwoman Viviana L. Russell (District 1); bottom row from left to right: Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano; Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton; Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel. More info about Deaf-Blind Awareness Week.
6/19/15—What a perfect day! Surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones, HKSB celebrated its 26th Annual Preschool Graduation on Friday, June 19th. View photos on Facebook.
Meet our 2015 preschool graduates! We’re uploading video of some of the amazing children graduating this June from our preschool program. Check out Hope in the first in a series!
6/18/15—Finally, a woman is slated to appear on the new $10 bill. If you use social media, please hashtag the government at #TheNew10 and CNN at #CNN10s and vote for Helen Keller! More information.
Foundation News: Thanks to Reader’s Digest Partners Sight Foundation for supporting this year’s Camp Helen Keller, our free summer day camp for children and youth with vision loss! Thanks also to The Community Chest of Port Washington for supporting HKNC’S Destiny Home in 2016—the third year in a row! Destiny Home is a community residence in Port Washington for individuals who are deaf-blind and have intellectual disabilities. We are thankful for this renewed support and for The Community Chest’s continued dedication to the Destiny Home and the greater Port Washington community.
6/11/15—HKS hosts Gatewave Radio at Brooklyn headquarters; read press release. (Photo, right: Gatewave President John F. Robinson presenting a radio to Helen Keller Servicesí President Tom Edwards)
Golf Update: What an amazing, incredible day! In spite of monsoon-like weather in the morning, the rains held off and we were able to hold our event on June 1st without a hitch! Thanks to all the brave golfers who attended our 25th Annual Event, which was held at the Village Club of Sands Point on Thayer Lane. (What a great staff there—thanks again Frank and Burak!) All monies raised went to supporting our youth programs, Camp Helen Keller and the HKNC Young Adult Summer Program. Awards included Low Net Team (64), which went to James O’Neil, Kealan O’Reilly, Fernando Fernandez and Joseph Shaia; Longest Drive went to Kealan O’Reilly; and Closest to the Pin went to Joe Mage (12’). Thanks also to our wonderful raffle contributors: Ridgewood Savings Bank, Brooks Brothers, Stella Guarna, Black Tie Wine & Spirits, Callaway, and Wit & Whim. Thanks also to Ryan Melendez who took most of the photos posted here. (Kudos also to Lori Bookstaver for her photo contributions!)
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.
Press Announcement: Helen Keller Services Unveils New Look—New 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.
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 elected to the Board of Trustees. Read official press release.
Stories That Touch Us
“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.