Helen Keller deaf and blind life
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Helen Keller was an American educator, author, and political activist. Let us look at how Helen Keller deaf and blind life turned out to be the most inspiring and motivating story in history. She was a differently-abled person who made numerous contributions to human rights.
She used her imagination power and proved that if one has willingness then they can achieve anything in life. She is one of the 20th century’s leading female and co-founder of (American Civil Liberties Union) ACLU.
The first lady of courage
Helen Keller was an American author, educator, political activist, and advocate for blind and deaf people. Keller managed to help handicapped and deaf-blind people worldwide. Despite being a blind-deaf person, she didn’t take her disability as a barrier to accomplish success. She was also an author as she wrote several books about her life, her hardships, and how she kept going on despite her disabilities. She delivered a ton of speeches for world peace and women’s rights. She is and always will be one of the most powerful women in history.
Hardships as a child
Helen Keller date of birth was on 27 June 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She had 4 siblings, from which two were full siblings and the other two were old stepbrothers from father’s prior wife. She was the daughter of Arthur Henley Keller and Catherine Everett Keller.
Keller’s family was left poor after the civil war. Her father worked as an editor and also served as a captain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War whereas her mother was the daughter of a confederate general. Luckily, Keller was financially supported as she was deaf and blind.
Helen Keller Illness
Helen was born with a sense of hearing and sight. She also started speaking when she was just 6 months old and walking at the age of 1. Unfortunately later when she was just 19 months old, she was diagnosed with an unknown illness which doctors say might be scarlet fever or meningitis. The disease left her deaf and blind throughout her entire life.
Keller was a very smart girl from an early age. Even when she was little, she began communicating with Martha Washington, a 6-year-old daughter of the family cook in sign languages. At the age of 7, Helen had already learned over 60 home signs to communicate with her family. She was so clever that she could even distinguish her family members according to the vibrations of their footsteps in the house.
Even though she was an intelligent girl, her behavior was terrible and she often acted very wild and rowdy towards her family members if she didn’t get what she wanted. She would giggle when happy and unruly when she was angry. It was very hard for her parents to handle her stubbornness at times and they really needed help from someone who would be able to control her.
Helen Keller’s soul, Anne Sullivan
When Keller was about 6 years old, her parents took her for a checkup at Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at that time. He contacted Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston requesting a tutor. They sent a 20-year-old teacher Anne Sullivan who later became Keller’s lifelong friend and teacher. This was a life turning event for Keller and she often calls meeting Sullivan as her “Soul’s Birthday”. Sullivan herself was blind due to some health problems but she was a very strong-willed person and was determined to teach Keller.
Sullivan started teaching in 1887. In the beginning, Keller was curious about learning but later as Keller knew things didn’t go according to her, she refused to cooperate with Sullivan’s teaching and often pinch and even kick her teacher. Sullivan noticed Keller wasn’t focused on her teaching so she requested to keep her and Keller isolated somewhere far from the rest of the family. They moved to a cottage next to Keller’s home so that Keller could concentrate more on her learning. This decision finally put Keller in control and helped Sullivan to win her heart.
Within a few months, Keller had already learned to feel objects and signal them with fingers. The famous moment was when Keller spelled her first-word “w-a-t-e-r”. Later, she could even make her own words with the help of cardboard.
She also learned to lip read. After years of learning at 14 years old, Keller was sent to Wright Humason School for the Deaf in New York City by Sullivan. She went to Cambridge School for Young Ladies at 16. She made her name in history by graduating from cum laude, Radcliffe College at the age of 24 in 1904. Helen Keller deaf and blind person the first differently-abled person to graduate Bachelors in Arts.
Exploring the outside world
After her graduation, Keller started writing about her deaf-blindness and her hardships. Her life article was accepted by Edward.W.Bok for Ladies Home Journal and other major magazines like The Century, McClure’s, and The Atlantic Monthly. After the success of her first article, she continued to write multiple books about her life, the most popular was “The Story of My Life”(1903). Her books are still famous to date like “Optimism”(1903), “The World I Live in”(1908, “My Religion”(1927), “Helen Keller’s Journal”(1938) and “The Open Door”(1957).
Later, Keller set out to explore more about the world. She stepped out of her comfort zone and started to help other people who are suffering. With Sullivan, she already had enough enlightenment towards her life and was willing to share her life story to motivate other handicapped people. Her stories soon became familiar around New England. She was the woman who shared her experiences with audiences and also advocated congress to improve the facilities for blind people.
In 1915, as her popularity was rising, she co-founded Helen Keller International along with city planner George Kessler for blind and malnutrition people. She is most admired for co-founding the American Civil Liberties Union. Besides founding organizations, she also became a member of the American Federation for the Blind in 1924 and participated in many programs such as campaigns to raise awareness, money, and support for the blind.
Her actions and efforts help improve the treatment of deaf and blind children. She knew how hard it is to live with difficulty so she kept on struggling and also joined other supportive organizations like the Permanent Blind War Relief Fund to help less fortunate people.
Along with her role as a social activist, she was also interested in political issues. Keller became a member of the Socialist party with the help of Sullivan’s second husband, John Macy. As she was a writer, she also wrote an article on socialism entitled, “Out of the Dark” describing her opinion on socialism and world affairs.
The press and people admired and supported her throughout her life for her courage and intelligence. Drawing her interest, Keller participated in political activities as well however, her actions were criticized by calling attention to her disabilities. Disregarding what people were calling her, she clung to her interest and was appointed as a counselor of international relations for the American Foundation of Overseas Blind in 1946.
Helen traveled up to 35 countries between 1946 and 1957. At the age of 75, Keller began her longest journey which is also one of her dreams, a five-month trek across Asia to give motivational speeches about deaf and blindness. She gave speeches all around the places, she talked about her disabilities and her life to bring encouragement and motivation for millions of people for them to realize that they are not weak.
According to the data of 2019, Helen Keller net worth is estimated to be $1 Million to $5 Million approximately. This includes Keller’s summed up worth including her organizations and hospitals.
Awards, Honors and achievements
Although being Helen Keller deaf and blind, she is truly an iconic woman in history. In her lifetime, she was awarded several times for her inspirational, motivational speeches and actions around the world. People recognized her as a woman of passion and determination. She was given the Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Service Medal in 1936, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, and election to the Women’s Hall of Fame in 1965.
As a record holder, she also received multiple honorary doctoral degrees from Temple University and Harvard University. She was given honorary degrees from universities of different countries like Glasgow-Scotland, Berlin-Germany, Delhi-India, and Witwatersrand-south Africa. In 1964, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1965, she was elected at New York World’s Fair as National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Helen Keller death date
After spending an adventurous yet difficult life, In 1961, Keller suffered from strokes and spent her time at her home. Helen Keller death date was on June 1, 1968, in her sleep at her home in Easton, Connecticut. She was just a few weeks away from her eighty-eighth birthday when she died. Her remains were cremated and placed next to her lifetime friends Anne Sullivan and Polly Thomson at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Being a person with multiple disabilities, she proved that willingness and determination can change the world. Keller devoted her entire life to encouraging and inspiring millions of people around the world. She is the true definition of hard work, determination, bravery, and self- belief. Even though she was deaf-blind she overcame difficult conditions with great persistence. She is still respected and sets an example of a strong person. Helen Keller and the colorful world she felt with her heart.