Inspiring tale of Helen Keller who was the first deaf-blind person to get a Bachelors of Arts degree

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Where there is a will, there is a way. If we have are dedicated to achieving something, no force can stop us. Popular American author and activist Helen Keller is one such inspirational personality who proved that no disability can stop you from achieving great things. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Recently, a Twitter user Aditya (@adityaharat1) shared Helen’s inspiring tale. Here is the thread made by him.

Helen Keller was an American Deaf-Blind woman. As an Iconic Activist for the Deaf-Blind, she inspired many people across the world.  Her Autobiography “The Story of My Life” is one of the most popular autobiographies. Helen Keller was born on 27th June 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA.  Her father was Arthur Keller(Swiss ancestry), a captain in Confederate Army & mother was Kate Keller. She had 4 siblings.  At 19 months old, She became deaf and blind(most likely due to Scarlet  Fever). Her mother got inspired by Laura Bridgman by Charles Dickens’ writing & decided to get a tutor for Helen.  Alexander Graham Bell (Telephone inventor) recommended “Perkins institute for the Blind” in Boston to get a teacher.  Anne Sullivan was selected as a tutor. The companionship between Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan was started on March 3rd, 1887.  It continued for the next 49 years until Anne Sullivan’s death in 1936.  Helen Keller learned #Braille & Communication through Hand signals(only by touch she can understand) from her.

ImageHelen Keller got graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904 with a bachelor’s degree. She became the first Deaf-Blind person to achieve that.  Although Laura Bridgman was the first Deaf-Blind person to get English education nearly 50 years before Helen Keller did.

Helen Keller published her autobiography “The Story of My Life” in 1903 when she was 22 years old. The Story of My Life book is about the early life of Helen Keller and her companionship with Anne Sullivan. Helen Keller dedicated this book to inventor Alexander Graham Bell. Based on Helen Keller & her book “The Story of My Life,” movies were made.  The Miracle Worker(1962) movie won 2 Academy Awards (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress for roles of Helen & Anne).  Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s  2005 Bollywood film Black was inspired by her life. Helen Keller as an activist traveled a lot & gave many lectures.  After Anne Sullivan’s demise in 1936; Polly Thomson took care of her personally till 1957.

ImageAfter Polly’s death, a nurse  Winnie Corbally looked after her.  Helen Keller founded an NGO(later came to be known as “Helen Keller International”) with George A. Kessler in 1915.  She joined and became the spokesperson for the “American Foundation for the Blind” in 1924. She was awarded “The Presidential Award of Freedom” in 1964. She died on June 1st, 1968 in Connecticut, USA.  Helen Keller’s courageous life is an inspiration to all of us, especially to differently-abled people. She’s a beacon of hope.

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