Imagine being in a dark room where you can’t see or hear anything. That is how Hellen Keller lived from the time she was nineteen months old. She could not see or hear because of an illness that left her blind and deaf. She learned to make signs with her hand to make her parents understand what she wanted.
She did not know shape, colors or words. When Helen was seven years old, a woman named Anne Sullivan came to teach her.
Anne formed letters on Helen’s hand, using sign language. These letters helped teach Helen about words. She formed the letters for doll, D-O-L-L, and gave Helen her doll. She told Helen about water by letting her feel it. Helen was very excited that she could understand words and quickly spelled the word water with her finger.
Helen was so thrilled that she learned thirty words in a day. Helen also wanted to speak aloud but she had problem. She could not hear words so she could not imitate that. When she was ten, she went to a school for special children to learn how to talk.
Helen also learned to read by using Braille, a special type of print for blind people. Her favorite things to read were Bible, poetry and philosophy.
Helen even went to college. She wanted to learn and grow by overcoming he physical challenges. She was the first deaf blind person to earn a college degree.
Writing for magazines and newspapers, she write about being deaf and blind. She elaborated the problems and their solutions. People enjoyed reading her. They liked her style and spirit.
Helen Keller, a prolific author, was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, She campaigned for women’s suffrage. labor rights, socialism, and other radical left causes.
Born: Helen Keller was born on June 27,1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Distinctions: She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.
Profession: Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer.
Books: Keller wrote a total of 12 published books and several articles. Her books include The Story of My Life, The World I Live In and My Religion.
Honors: In recognition of her works, Keller was listed in Gallup’s Most Widely Admired People of the 20th century.
There are streets named after Helen Keller in Zurich, Switzerland, in Getafe, Spain, in Lodd, Israel, in Lisbon, Portugaland in Caen, France. On October 7,2009 a bronze statue of Helen Keller was added to the National Statuary Hall Collection, as a replacement for the State of Alabama’s former 1908 statue of the education reformer Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry.
The Story of My Life: At age 22, Keller published her autobiography,
The Story of My Life (1903), with help from Sullivan and Sullivan’s husband, John Macy. It recounts the story of her life up to age 21 and was written during her time in college.
Died: Keller died on June 1,1968.
Portrayals: Keller’s life has been interpreted many times. The most widely renowned portrayal was in The Miracle Worker. The Miracle Worker is a cycle of dramatic works ultimately derived from he autobiography, The Story of My Life.