In The News

Becoming Helen Keller

BECOMING HELEN KELLER  Film Project: The Gibney Family Foundation has for committed$30,000 in support to the Becoming Helen Keller film project.  You can read about this film-in-process here.  The Disability Museum  currently striving to raise the last 20% of this project’s budget which will be matched by TGFF. Once that task is complete we will return to editing this two hour work which is guaranteed to broadcast on the prestigious PBS biography series American Masters.  We also invite you to like the Becoming Helen Keller project FB page.

Read more

Get HAPI in Vermont

vabviThe Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (VABVI) was recently granted a $75,000 3-year matching grant from The Gibney Family Foundation to help establish its Helping Adolescents Prepare for Independence (HAPI) teen program. The HAPI program was specifically created to address the daily living skills students need to possess in order to live on their own, establish careers, attend college, and/or become involved in their community. According to the American Foundation of the Blind, an alarming 64% of blind and visually impaired individuals aged 16-64 are not employed (more than double the percentage of the general population not employed). VABVI is working to change this disheartening statistic.

The HAPI program enables VABVI’s licensed Teachers of the Visually Impaired andCertified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists to work one-on-one with students to learn the skills necessary to thrive independently. Skills include utilizing an ATM, navigating public transportation, basic first aid, exploring career options, college preparation, self-advocacy, recognizing social cues, proper dress for various occasions, and fiscal responsibility.

A generous $5,000 grant has already been made by the Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation for this program, matched in full by The Gibney Family Foundation. If you are interested in supporting the HAPI teen program, please contact Ayeshah Raftery, Director of Development and Public Education, at (800) 639-5861 ext. 224 or You can also make a direct donation online at or via mail or in person at 60 Kimball Avenue, South Burlington, VT 05403.

VABVI was founded in 1926 with the assistance of Helen Keller and the American Foundation for the Blind. We are the only private, non‑profit organization in the state providing comprehensive support services for visually impaired Vermonters of all ages. VABVI offices are located in Brattleboro, Montpelier, Rutland and South Burlington.

Original article is found at

Read more

Finding a Touch of Genius

From National Braille Press Blog:

Many of our customers and friends know that NBP, with support from The Gibney Family Foundation, offers a $20,000 prize called the Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation.  What few people know is how this process works.

Louis Braille flaming headTouch of Genius Prize for Innovation logo

The Prize was developed to inspire an innovator to continue the promotion of braille literacy for blind people worldwide.  Each year, NBP puts out a call for applications and receives a wide variety of projects ranging from educational methods to tactile literacy products to high-tech solutions.  This past year was no different with NBP receiving twenty competing applications.

Read more