Hellen Keller; Author, Activist, and Lecturer.


 

Hellen Keller holding the book she wrote, written in every language as well as braile An older Hellen Keller showing a big smile to the camera Younger Hellen Keller posing for a portrait



Hellen Keller; Author, Activist, and Lecturer.

 

At the age of nineteen months, Hellen Keller lost her ability to see or hear. Although her abilities were out of reach, Keller is remembered for her acts as a crusader of the handicapped and learned to work around her disabilities, earning her the respect of her nation, as well as many successes.

Born on June, 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Hellen Keller was born with her senses, and began speaking at age one. However, when she was nineteen months, young Keller was struck with an illness that first started out as a fever, but after three days, Keller had gone deaf and blind. As she began to grow, she developed different signals to use to communicate with her family. By the time she was 7, Keller had created over sixty different signs to use.

When Hellen Keller was five years of age, her parents wanted to grant their daughter with a proper education. With the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, he convinced the two to apply to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston for a teacher, and were given Anne Mansfield Sullivan. Sullivan was a dedicated educator to Keller, and worked by her side with passion and patience. Through her excellent teachings, Keller learned how to read and write in Braille, and communicated through hand signals of the deaf-mute, which she could only understand through touch. At the age of six, Sullivan was able to teach her 30 words in one day, and at the age of 12, Keller published an autobiographical sketch in the Youth’s Companion. Although, this was only the beginning of Hellen Keller’s journey.

As she got older, Hellen Keller began to study at schools for the deaf in New York City and Boston. Over time, she was excepted into Radcliffe College. During her junior year at Radcliffe, Keller wrote her first book. Her book was called The Story of My Life, and talked about her personal experiences and accomplishments as someone with disabilities. Hellen graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, and went on to publish four other books including topics like religion, social problems and a biography of Anne Sullivan. Keller also wrote articles for a handful of national magazines on blindness prevention and education of the blind. She was also a strong women’s rights activist, and discussed her ideals in some of her works, as well as a public voice.

In 1915, Hellen Keller went before Congress to discuss the improvement of welfare for the blind. She co-founded Hellen Keller international, and fought the causes and consequences of blindness, which helped her found the American Civil Liberties Union.

In 1918, Hellen Keller made her first movie. The movie, Deliverance, discussed the difficulties and challenges of being blind. In 1924, Keller joined the American Foundation for the Blind as an advisor and fund-raiser coordinator. Her determination, passion, and sweet personality won her contributions from many people of power including Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller, as well as movie industry personal.

Many honors were placed upon Hellen Keller including the Theodor Roosevelt Distinguished Service medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and an election to the Woman’s Hall of Fame. She also received her doctoral degree from many universities including Harvard and Temple.

Hellen Keller is remembered for her remarkable accomplishments as a person who was deaf and blind, as well as her passion, intelligence, and determination to keep pushing forward and never giving up despite her disabilities. Her willingness to push the boundaries of her disabilities and not let anything get in her way is one of the many reasons we celebrate her today, and especially during Woman’s History Month.

Woman’s History Month is celebrated every March to honor women whose contributions to events in history and contemporary society are highlighted today. Woman’s History Month is widely celebrated throughout the United States, for many women here have donated to women’s history, including Hellen Keller, Clara Barton and Emily Dickinson.

 

Categories: Social, Local News, history, People, News
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