American Foundation for the Blind Launches the First Fully Accessible Digital Archive of the Helen Keller Collection

Society

More than 160,000 artifacts can now be viewed in a groundbreaking, fully accessible online archive thanks to support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and American Express

 

WASHINGTON:  The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the launch of the Helen Keller Archive, the world’s first fully accessible digital archive collection, comprising more than 160,000 artifacts, dedicated to the fascinating life of Helen Keller.

The Helen Keller Archive is the largest repository of historical content about Helen Keller, whose iconic name is known in every corner of the globe for her groundbreaking work as an author, political activist, and humanitarian who played a critical role in changing public perceptions about people with disabilities.

The Archive, available at afb.org/HelenKellerArchive, was made possible thanks to Keller’s close relationship with AFB, where she worked for 44 years. At the time of her death, she bequeathed all of her belongings, including gifts from around the world, to AFB to create the Archive. Due to their fragility, many of these items were unavailable to the public until now. This momentous online project, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and American Express, is also the first of its kind to be fully accessible to blind, deaf, hard-of-hearing, low vision, and deafblind audiences.

The digitized Helen Keller Archive presents an opportunity to encounter this renowned historical figure in a new, dynamic, and exciting way. For example, despite her fame, relatively few people know that Helen Keller wrote 14 books as well as hundreds of essays and articles on a broad array of subjects ranging from animals and atomic energy to Mahatma Gandhi. The Archive’s vast treasure trove of artifacts about Helen Keller includes personal letters, speeches, press clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, photograph albums, oversize materials, architectural drawings, and audio-visual materials.

Helen Keller, age 79 (PRNewsfoto/American Foundation for the Bli)

 

“Keller was both a product of her environment and a driving force upon it, and few archival collections have the potential of providing historians with so rich a source of information on the history and direction of the United States, and indeed on attitudes to those with disabilities around the globe,” said Helen Selsdon, AFB Archivist. “Knowing this, AFB recognized the importance of disseminating this amazing resource that was both underutilized and difficult to access. Digitization was the way to achieve this goal.”

Kirk Adams, President and CEO of AFB, agrees.

“Beyond the historical value of the collection to a broad audience ranging from scholars to school children, The Helen Keller Archive represents a powerful vehicle for continuing the work begun by Keller and AFB to build a more inclusive world,” Adams said. “Harnessing the power of the collection, we can inspire educators, employers, and the public to see beyond a person’s disabilities to a more equitable society. This digitization project also presented a fantastic opportunity to show the importance of making digital collections accessible to all users.”

“Helen Keller is one of our nation’s most inspiring figures,” said NEH Senior Deputy Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to support efforts to put this valuable archive online so that the records of the life, writing, and achievements of this iconic American are accessible to all.”

“American Express has long-believed that by preserving the lessons of the past, we can inspire a more promising future,” said Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation. “By sharing Helen Keller’s miraculous story in a modern and dynamic way, we hope to inspire a new generation to fight for a society where everyone’s potential is realized and nurtured.”

Fully digitizing the Helen Keller Archive is a massive, ongoing process. Please consider a donation to help preserve this national treasure.

KPMG and Google Enter an Alliance to Help Organizations Transform Digital Experiences

Technology, Telecom & Internet

New solutions combine Google Cloud’s security and artificial intelligence (AI) leadership with KPMG business acumen, industry knowledge and integration capability to enrich the customer experience and accelerate digital transformation.

 

KPMG International today announced an alliancewith Google to help organizations transform their business and operating models with secure cloud computing, machine learning (ML), enterprise mobility and advanced analytics technologies.

As part of the collaboration, KPMG is creating a portfolio of industry solutions built on Google Cloud Platform (GCP). KPMG member firms around the globe are currently engaging with clients on solutions for financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, among other industries. These solutions, including customer service solutions, contract management, cyber security, regulatory compliance and business and process performance, will benefit from GCP’s trusted security, advanced data analytics and ML.

Two KPMG solutions available now are KPMG Intelligent Interactions for creating a differentiated customer experience, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Assessment and Compliance solutions for managing customer data and privacy.

“Organizations are seeing advanced technologies and natural language experiences as a key to transforming their businesses,” says Benjie Thomas, Canadian Managing Partner, Advisory Services for KPMG in Canada. “KPMG is creating data-driven solutions that harness Google Cloud technology, including machine learning, to help our member firm clients advance business strategies and deliver unrivaled digital experiences.”

“Our alliance with KPMG helps customers across industries benefit from the advantages of Google Cloud, including our advanced security, data analytics and machine learning capabilities, to solve real business challenges,” says Tariq Shaukat, President, Partners and Industry Platforms, Google Cloud. “We’re working alongside KPMG to develop new solutions that help enable customers to actively participate in the ideation and creation of their own solutions.”

KPMG’s business acumen, industry knowledge, and business process consulting help member firm clients understand how to integrate ML technology. Combining this experience with Google Cloud’s pre-trained ML models, made accessible via application programming interfaces (APIs), streamlines new product development, where clients do not need to build and train their own models. KPMG also provides ML models that can be quickly customized using Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine.

The alliance allows member firm clients to take advantage of GCP-based solutions as part of the KPMG Ignite portfolio of AI capabilities, KPMG’s Centre of Excellence for Data & Analytics and Intelligent Automation, and KPMG’s 65 Google Cloud certified consultants. The centre has established a KPMG GCP ‘lab’ to foster experimentation and collaboration with Google Cloud on client use cases.

KPMG Intelligent Interactions
One of the first available solution offerings under the alliance is KPMG’s Intelligent Interactions, part of KPMG’s Connected Enterprise portfolio. The solution automates and enhances customer interactions by using ML technology, including Google Cloud Speech-to-Text and Translate APIs, to determine sentiment and intent.

KPMG Intelligent Interactions links with other intelligent automation (IA) technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), to help clients automate customer responses and redesign business processes. For example, voice automation—with capabilities to understand, translate, and identify sentiment and intent—can augment interactions with customers. Virtual assistants — built with Google Cloud ML language capabilities, including DialogFlow, Speech APIs, and Translate APIs—can anticipate customer needs based on predefined triggers.

GDPR Assessment and Compliance solutions

To help member firm clients build and execute a new vision for customer data management beyond compliance, KPMG teams offer purpose-built solutions that assist clients with the challenges of GDPR compliance while helping lay the foundation for a strong data management and privacy strategy.

The solutions combine KPMG’s domain, regulation, customer analytics, enterprise data strategy and compliance knowledge with Google’s ML-based cloud technology, data management and advanced analytics products to deliver a sustainable platform with single customer views, legal and compliance support, end-to-end modelling platforms, cloud data warehousing and a secure data infrastructure. The solutions help reduce the costs associated with ongoing compliance, streamline compliance efforts, enable data-driven customer service improvements and support analytics-powered processing.