20. Helen Keller
Helen Keller was born in Alabama in
1880. When she was twenty months old, she got an illness. After her illness
Helen could not hear or see. She was deaf and blind. Helen was a difficult
child. Her parents did not know what to do.
Finally, when Helen was seven years
old, her parents got her a special teacher. Her name was Miss Anne Sullivan.
Miss Sullivan worked with Helen all day. She took Helen's hand and spelled a
word in her hand. Helen soon learned to say what she wanted in this way.
In 1900 Helen entered Radcliffe
College. Miss Sullivan sat next to Helen in class. She spelled all the words
into Helen's hand. Miss Sullivan also read to Helen all the time. At that time
there were only a few books for the blind. These were Braille books. They had a
special alphabet made with dots that blind people could read with their
fingers. Helen graduated from Radcliffe with honors, or very high grades.
Helen wrote books like The Story of My
Life and Midstream--My Later Life. She also wrote magazine articles and spoke
all over the country. She learned to speak. It was not easy to understand her.
Miss Sullivan repeated what Helen said. Helen spoke about the deaf and blind.
People everywhere became interested. There was new hope for the deaf and blind.