Roberta Griffith, Visionary
Despite having lost her sight as an infant, Roberta Griffith led an extraordinary life on national, state, and local levels. Griffith was born in 1870 and was 10 years older than Helen Keller. Working together on more than one occasion, they travelled the country with others, seeking to improve the services for the blind. Before moving to Grand Rapids, Griffith graduated from Case Western Reserve University and embarked on a career in journalism. In Grand Rapids, she began a new career in real estate at the same time she developed her own version of a braille system and produced a dictionary for the blind. Griffith never lost her determination to learn, create, and help others. In 1913, she founded the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired and served as secretary until her death in 1941.
Former city historian Gordon Olson will review the life and work of this extraordinary local woman . . .