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357. Helen Keller: Overcoming Disability
Helen Keller was an American educator and journalist,
became one of the leading humanitarians in the
of the United States. Born on June 27,
in Tuscumbia, a small town in Alabama, Keller
stricken with a childhood disease that left her
, and blind. The illness Keller suffered is a
to this day. She was diagnosed with "Brain
," by her family doctor, but most people speculated
she suffered from either Scarlet Fever, or Meningitis.
to see, or hear, Keller became difficult to
with as her behavior was described by her
and friends as wild.
Soon Keller and her
developed their own type of sign language that
them to communicate on a limited basis. Helen's
sought help for her anguished child, which eventually
to Anne Sullivan, who was a recent graduate
the Perkins Institute for the Blind. The school
been successful in the past in educating blind
, and Sullivan was one of its star graduates.
Sullivan and Keller got through the difficult beginnings,
friendship, and association lasted for 49 years.
determined to become educated, and to teach herself
communicate. After attending several schools, she became the
deaf and blind person to earn a college
. She became very well-known, and began a lecture
where she addressed social and political issues, including
's suffrage, and birth control.
In 1920, she helped
the American Civil Liberties Union, which is still
today. She addressed Congress to raise awareness to
plight of the blind. Through all her accomplishments,
fell into disfavor with the American public because
her socialist views later in her life. She
in her sleep just days before his 88th
, but she lives in the American consciousness for
tireless work, and perseverance.