JUN 27, 24 (1/2) .. HELEN KELLER..


Helen Keller. Words can not adequately describe her journey through life. Amazing!

Helen Keller Day is celebrated on her birthday, June 27 and it celebrates the life and achievements of Helen Keller, a woman who overcame blindness and deafness and became famous in the process.

Anne Sullivan was Keller’s teacher and she received acclaim in her own right. When Sullivan was just five years of age, she suffered from trachoma, an eye disease that impaired her vision. She had to learn the manual alphabet and faced adversity herself because of it. She was called a miracle worker for helping teach her pupil how to read and write when no one thought she would learn.

Helen Keller was born June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, but things turned bad quickly. At nineteen months, she suffered from a form of bacterial meningitis, which left her unable to see, hear, or speak. The family sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, a famous scientist and inventor known for inventing the first telephone, who advised them to apply to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. They followed Bell’s advice.

Her teacher, Anne Sullivan, used “touch teaching” techniques and her skilled guidance calmed the seemingly uncontrollable Keller. Keller learned how to read and write in Braille thanks to Sullivan’s own experiences that gave her a deeper understanding of her student’s struggles. Keller also used hand signals of the deaf-mute, which she understood by touch.

She would go on to become an author. In 1902, her book, “The Story of my Life” was published and loved by many who took her story to heart. She graduated from Radcliffe College and graduated with honors in 1904, making her the first blind and deaf woman to graduate from college.

Thanks to Sullivan’s assistance she became a public speaker, requiring the assistance of an interpreter to make herself understood. People were inspired by her resounding spirit to surpass the expectations placed on her because of her disabilities, and it led to advances in public services of the handicapped.

Helen Keller was a fundraiser for the American Foundation for the Blind and an advocate for racial and sexual equality. Sullivan and Keller became a lifelong duo and from 1920 to 1924, they formed a vaudeville act to entertain, raise money, and educate the public.

On June 1, 1968, Keller died in Easton, Connecticut, at age 87, but her legacy of civil service and a resilient spirit is everlasting. The presidential proclamation of Helen Keller Day was made in 2006, as well as many notable international organizations that help the blind and deaf.


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