To honor DeafBlind Awareness Week, today's mural features pioneering disability rights advocate Hellen Keller (1880-1968). This image from the Perkins School for the Blind Archives shows Helen Keller later in life with white hair, pearls and a blue dress. She is seated, reading a large braille book. Bright light is pouring in from a large set of windows behind her.

Making media accessible to people with disabilities is central to GBH’s mission, and has been for nearly fifty years; GBH pioneered captioning and audio description for broadcast television and feature film, set industry-wide guidelines and best practices, and continues to create resources and develop award-winning technologies to keep pace with the changing media landscape. Notable among these offerings is the free downloadable Caption and Description Editing Tool (CADET) developed by GBH’s National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), and research-based guidelines for writing effective, high-quality image descriptions.

GBH also supports PBS initiatives in this area: GBH Education and NCAM serve on the Advisory Board for the upcoming film from WNET, Becoming Helen Keller, alongside other leaders in the accessibility and disability advocacy community, advising on production and dissemination best practices. They provide expert guidance on various topics, including the accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) of related educational materials and media assets. Becoming Helen Keller will be broadcast as part of the award-winning PBS series American Masters, and reclaims the life story of Helen Keller by placing her experiences and work freshly into the context of her times.


Credit: Courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind Archives