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American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2014 Helen Keller Achievement Awardees

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has announced the recipients of its prestigious Helen Keller Achievement Awards that will be held in New York City on June 17th. The awards will be presented to Christine Ha, Winner of U.S. MasterChef Season 3, AT&T, and Genentech for their extraordinary efforts to improve quality of life for people with vision loss.

Past awardees include companies such as IBM,The New York Times, Bank of America, and Time Warner, and individuals such as Stevie Wonder, Patty Duke and Ray Charles. The black-tie gala will be held at the New York Marriott Downtown, marking the 18th edition of the organization’s fundraising gala.

Alex Trebek, Host of Jeopardy!, will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and Honorary Chairs will be J. W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, Marriott International, and José Feliciano, Grammy-Winning Musical Artist.

“Helen Keller fought tirelessly to make the world more inclusive and to change public perceptions about the capabilities of those of us with vision loss,” said Carl R. Augusto, AFB’s President and CEO. “The 2014 award winners have helped to continue Keller’s important legacy by expanding possibilities for millions of people around the world. We are thrilled to recognize their achievements.”

About the 2014 Helen Keller Achievement Award recipients:

Christine Ha won the hearts of American TV viewers as the Season 3 champion of Gordon Ramsay’s popular U.S. cooking competition, MasterChef on FOX, where she became the first‑ever blind winner of a major cooking show. Through her triumphs – winning a series of individual and group challenges to beat out 18 other contestants and earn the title of Master Chef – she demonstrated to millions of viewers that people with vision loss are as talented and capable as their sighted peers. Ha, who became blind in 2007 due to an autoimmune disease, says that cooking as a person who is visually impaired is “…about being organized, careful and using my other senses.” She continues to advocate for people with vision loss in public appearances and through her writings, on her blog, The Blind Cook, and in her best-selling cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen: Asian and American Comfort Food, 2013.

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