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Helen Keller, the world's first deaf-blind graduate

Helen Keller

Helen Keller, the world's first deaf-blind graduate

        Helen Keller was a symbol of courage and patience. He is respected around the world for his determination and achievements despite tremendous odds. Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She could neither see nor hear since birth. She started talking when she was 6 months old and also started walking at 9 months.  When Keller was 19 months old, she contracted an illness, which may have been scarlet fever or meningitis. Due to this disease she became blind and deaf. Due to her illness she will also be out of control and unruly. While many of his relatives were of the opinion that he needed reform, his mother Catherine was busy looking for other solutions.

        In 1886, Catherine was inspired by Charles Dickens's travelogue "America Notes", which described the successful education of a deaf and blind child named Lara Bridgman. After this, Keller was sent to the Perkins School for the Blind in South Boston, the same school where Bridgman had received his education. School director Michael Anagnos suggested that Helen work with 20-year-old Ann Sullivan, a recent graduate who was blind herself. 


       In March 1887, Sullivan arrived at Keller's home and began teaching Keller to communicate through fingerspelling. Determined to gain the ability to communicate with other people, Keller began taking speech classes at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston in 1890. In 1900, he attended Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sullivan would accompany Keller to Radcliffe and sit next to him to understand the lectures and the meaning of the lessons. In 1904, at the age of 24, she became the first deaf-blind person to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree. Meanwhile, Keller had mastered many methods of communication. Which included Braille, touch-script reading, speech, typing and fingerspelling. After graduation, she became fully active in improving the lives of others socially and politically. She worked on issues like women's suffrage, peace and family planning. He took oath before the Congress to improve the lives of the blind.

          With the assistance of George Kessler she founded "Helen International" to combat blindness and malnutrition. He played an active role in the establishment of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. Keller also took membership of many other organizations to help the unfortunate. With Sullivan he visited more than 40 countries. He met American presidents from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B. Johnson and was friendly with such personalities as Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain. Between 1909 and 1921, he wrote many articles on socialism. In 1955, at the age of 75, Keller set out on a 40-mile trek to Asia.

        Keller wrote a total of 12 books. At the age of 22, Keller published his autobiography, "The Story of My Life", with the help of John Macy at Sullivan & Sullivan. In 1908, she wrote "The World I Live In", which gave readers a sense of what she thought about the world.

     Due to her outstanding achievements, Keller received many honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal in 1936, the 'Presidency Medal of Freedom' in 1964 and being elected to the 'Women's Hall of Fame' in 1965. He received honorary doctorates from Harvard University, among other universities.

     In 1961, Keller suffered several heart attacks one after the other and ultimately died in his sleep on June 1, 1968. He breathed his last a few weeks before his 88th birthday. Despite all his adversity, Keller demonstrated that with determination, hard work, persistence, and motivation, anyone can overcome adversity and achieve greatness.

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