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Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan

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Helen Adams Keller was born a normal child on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her parents were Kate Adams Keller and Arthur H. Keller. At 19 months, she became very sick which caused her to become deaf and blind. With the help of her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she learned how to communicate and graduate from college. Helen Keller, a strong influence and example for the blind and deaf community, taught us how to overcome our disabilities and never give up.

Helen was the oldest of two girls. Her childhood was rough because she could not see nor hear what people were doing or saying. She would have bad behavior and throw tantrums because she could not communicate and it became hard for the family. About age 7, she met her lifelong teacher named Anne Sullivan and it changed her life. Helen wrote, “The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrasts between the two lives which it connects. It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old.”

Anne Sullivan had a hard childhood as well. Her mom died when she was 8 years old and she also had a visual disability. Anne attended the Perkins School for the Blind, which is how she met Helen. At age 20, with no teaching experience, Anne started to help Helen learn ways of communicating with the world around her. This was the beginning of a 49 year relationship.

Helen learned from Anne how to read and write in Braille and to use hand signals, which she had to do by touch. She improved quickly and her bad behavior started to improve as well. Helen made more progress than anyone expected. Anne was important in helping Helen get through school. She would repeat the lectures into Helen’s hand. Helen was able to graduate from Radcliffe College in 1904, becoming the first deaf blind person to get a Bachelor’s Degree. Her accomplishments made her a celebrity at an early age.

Helen has written and published many books and articles over the years. She has worked hard to raise awareness and money for the deaf and blind community, including the American Foundation for the Blind. Helen Keller has had a big impact as an educator, organizer, and fund-raiser and is an inspiration to keep going and never give up on anything regardless of the struggles you face. “If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my



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