Imagine that you couldn't see these words or hear them spoken. But you could still talk, write, read, and make friends. In fact, you went to college, wrote nearly a dozen books, traveled all over the world, met 12 U.S. presidents, and lived to be 87. Well, there was such a person, and she was born over a hundred years ago!
Meet Helen Keller, a woman from the small farm town of Tuscumbia, Alabama who taught the world to respect people who are blind and deaf. Her mission came from her own life; when she was 1.5 yrs,she was extremely ill, and she lost both her vision and hearing. It was like Entering a different world, with completely new rules, and she got very frustrated. By the time she was 7, her parents knew they needed help, so they hired a tutor.
Anne was strict, but she had a lot of energy. In just a few days, she taught Helen how to spell words with her hands (called the manual alphabet, which is part of the sign language that deaf people use.) The trouble was, Helen didn't understand what the words meant—until one morning at the water pump (like an outdoor water fountain) she got a whole new attitude
Anne had Helen hold one hand under the water. Then she spelled "W-A-T-E-R" into Helen's other hand. It was electric! The feeling turned into a word. Immediately, Helen bent down and tapped the ground; Anne spelled "earth." Helen's brain flew; that day, she learned 30 words.
From then on, Helen's mind raced ahead. She learned to speak when she was ten by feeling her teacher's mouth when she talked. Often people found it hard to understand her, but she never gave up trying. Meanwhile, she learned to read French, German, Greek, and Latin in braille! When she was 20, she entered Radcliffe College, the women's branch of Harvard University.
Helen also did research, gave speeches, and helped raise money for many organizations, such as the American Foundation for the Blind and the American Foundation for the Overseas Blind, which is now called Helen Keller Worldwide. From 1946 and 1957, she went around the world, speaking about the experiences and rights of people who are blind.
. She wound up visiting 39 countries on five different continents! Helen also inspired many works of art, including two Oscar-winning movies, and received dozens of awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that an American civilian can receive. She died in her sleep in 1968.39 countries
[ Here, Helen Keller talks about how her teacher helped her to learn. Helen Keller became deaf and blind when she was very young. Since she was deaf, she did not learn to speak. So her parents were extremely worried. Once they found Miss Sullivan, a teacher for the deaf and blind. That changed Helen’s life. Here is an account of the turning point in her life in her own words.]
I still clearly remember that morning of the year 1887. I was just seven years of age then. My teacher Anne Sullivan came to our house that day. Next day she lead me into her room and gave me a doll. I played with it for a while. Then Miss Sullivan made some finger movements on my palm
. It was an exciting experience. I got interested in that play and started imitating the movements she made with her finger. When I finally succeeded in doing that correctly, I was thrilled. I didn’t know that I was spelling d-o-l-l.
Some days later, we were walking in our garden. Suddenly teacher put my hand under the water tap.As the cool flow of water ran over one hand; she spelt w-a-t-e-r on my other palm.We played this game every day touching different objects. It awakened my soul. I came to know that every thing had a name. Now each name gave birth to a new thought. Every object I touched seemed to throb with life. Aha! I was connected with the world through all the words.
Miss Sullivan used to take me to long walks every morning. I had lots of questions to ask.I would write something on her palm and in return she would talk in to my palm as people talk in to baby’s ear.My teacher satisfied my curiosity.Now everything around me was full of life,love and joy.
The second stage of our learning was more difficult. It was also based on the sense of touch.Miss Sullivan would speak a word and ask me to touch her lips and throat slowly.I learnt to speak a through the movements of the lips and throat slowly. I learnt to speak through the movements of the lips and the vibration. in the throat.
When I uttered a word, it gave me boundless delight. Now I started talking with my toys, stones, trees, and birds in the garden. I felt amazed and delighted as m sister ran to me when I called her and my dog obeyed my commands.i was able to speak. It was a miracle
Even when is studied seriously.It seemed more like play than work. Whenever anything delighted or interested me, Miss Sullivan would talk about that as if she were a little girl herself.She taught subjects like science by making it so interesting that I remembered everything she had taught
I remember my first day at Radcliff college.I knew there were difficulties in my way but I was eager to overcome them The Professors looked as away as if they were speaking through a telephone. The lectures were spelled to my palms
as rapidly as possible. I would note down whatever I remembered when I went back home. Then came a dark cloud in my sky. I was vey much worried about that. My teacher’s eyes were becoming weak, therefore, she could not see clearly. She was brave and fought against it. But I was sorry because she did not pay any attention to herself and continued to help me.
I tried to persuade her to take rest and get her eyes treated but she would not listen. What a great sacrifice it was! If she had not been there, I would not have enjoyed the beauty of the world. I cannot think my self apart from her.my heart always speaks: I love you teacher.