HP, HSBC, Lions Clubs International Foundation, and Rachael Scdoris Receive the Prestigious Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 General News
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NEW YORK, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), the nearly 90-year-old national

organization to which Helen Keller dedicated her life, will honor HP, HSBC, Lions Clubs International Foundation, and professional sled dog racer Rachael Scdoris with the Helen Keller Achievement
Award at a black tie gala on June 7, 2010 at the Marriott New York Downtown.  The recipients are being honored for their extraordinary efforts to improve the quality of life for people with vision loss.  

"We are honored to present this year's awards to corporations and individuals who have expanded possibilities for the 25 million Americans with vision loss," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB's President & CEO. "All of the awardees are making a real difference in the lives of people with disabilities and we're thrilled to recognize their accomplishments."

2010 Awardees Include:


HP will be awarded the Helen Keller Achievement Award in Accessible Technology for its commitment to designing and producing products and services that are accessible to people with disabilities, its notable employment practices for blind and visually impaired people, and its in-kind contributions of accessible products to nonprofits, including AFB.  Marcela Perez de Alonso, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, HP, will receive the award.


HSBC North America Holdings Inc. will be awarded the Helen Keller Achievement Award in Customer Service for its policies and procedures to ensure improved communication options and services for customers with disabilities.  HSBC has installed more than 250 "talking" ATM locations across the United States for use by individuals with vision loss.  Susan Whitney-Brown, Senior Vice President, Organizational Development, HSBC North America, will accept the award.

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)

Lions Clubs International Foundation will be awarded the Helen Keller Achievement Award in Philanthropy for extraordinary work to fund programs around the world for people with visual impairments. In 1925, Helen Keller attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness." Ever since, local Lions clubs and LCIF efforts have included sight programs aimed at fighting preventable blindness. Since 1990, LCIF has mobilized and invested more than US$237 million for its SightFirst program that is fighting preventable blindness in more than 102 countries. These programs and Lions' local efforts have saved the sight of 30 million and improved eye-care services to hundreds of millions of individuals around the world. Al Brandel, Immediate Past President and current LCIF Chairperson, will accept the award.

Rachael Scdoris

Rachael Scdoris will be awarded the Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award for her courage and determination to become a competitive sled dog racer despite her visual impairment.  In 2006, Scdoris garnered national attention for becoming the first legally blind athlete to finish the world-famous and grueling Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across the state of Alaska.

Dinner chairpersons and honorary chairs for the 2010 Helen Keller Achievement Awards include Richard Kovacevich, Chariman Emeritus, Wells Fargo and Company; Robert L. Ryan, Director, HP; Norb Vonnegut, Author and Editor, Acrimoney.com; J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Marriott International, Inc.; and Michael Golden, Vice Chairman, The New York Times Company.

The Helen Keller Achievement Awards were established by AFB in 1994 to acknowledge Helen Keller's extraordinary efforts and promote the notable achievements of individuals and organizations that have improved the quality of life for all people who are blind or visually impaired.

For more information visit: http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=28&TopicID=152.

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit us online at www.afb.org.

SOURCE American Foundation for the Blind


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