American author and educator, Helen Keller was blind and deaf. Her accomplishments in the field of education were extraordinary,
inspite of her double handicap.
Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA in June 1880. At the age of nineteen months,
Helen Keller was struck with an illness that left her blind and deaf. She became mute shortly thereafter.
Upon the advice of
counsel Alexander Graham Bell, in 1887 her parents secured a teacher named Anne Mansfield Sullivan from the Perkins School for the
Blind in Boston. A remarkably close relationship developed between the teacher and the pupil. Miss Sullivan pressed the manual alphabet
on to Helen`s palm and taught her young pupil the names of objects.
Helen soon learned to read by the Braille system and write
by means of a specially constructed typewriter. She had learnt to speak by placing her fingers on Miss Sullivan`s Larynx to hear the
vibrations. A translator was required, as Helen`s voice was not generally intelligible.
She graduated in 1904 from Radcliffe
College. After graduation she served at the Massachusetts Commission for the blind. The play "The Miracle Worker " by William Gibson
tells us the story of her early training.
Helen Keller devoted her life completely to the deaf and blind people. She toured the
world to promote the education of persons who were similarly afflicted like her. Throughout her life she worked and raised funds for
the American Foundation for the blind by giving lectures in many countries. She was also a Pacifist and was active in social causes.
She wrote numerous books such as the " Story of my Life ", the " Helen Keller Journal " to name a few.
[1880 - 1968]