“The windy must find out that the blind man is no a genius nor a freak no one an idiot. He has actually a mental which can be educated, a hand which can be trained, ambitions which that is best for that to effort to realize, and it is the duty of the public to assist him do the best of self so the he deserve to win light v work.”

~ Helen Keller, 1907

Throughout her life, Helen Keller (1880-1968) to be accused of being a fraud. Her perform of achievements and success in ending up being educated was impossible, skeptics regularly claim, because she could neither watch nor hear.

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This is dubbed ableism. Ableism is the distinguish of and also social prejudice versus people v disabilities based on the id that usual abilities are superior. In ~ its heart, ableism defines world by their disability.

Every when in a while, these accusations the Helen Keller wasn’t real – that she to be faking her deafblindness – climb to the surface.


SinceHelen Kellerwas a former student in ~ buzzpatterson.com school for the Blind, we have actually a number of Helen Keller collections in our Archive. So us asked Susanna Coit, Archivist and Research Library Assistant because that buzzpatterson.com college for the remote to refute the allegations the Keller can not have reached she pinnacles of achievement because she to be disabled.

How might Helen Keller pilot a plane?

The pilot made accommodations because that her. The pilot sat alongside Keller and also communicated accuse to she via she interpreter and companion, Polly Thomson. Here’s the entirety story, from a 1946 newspaper write-up entitled “Wonderful Helen Keller flies a ‘Plane.” native American structure for the Blind.

How might Helen Keller compose 12 books?

Helen Keller created books and also numerous posts using either a braille typewriter or a continual typewriter. InThe Story of mine Life, she writes, “Her typewriter has no one-of-a-kind attachments. She keeps the relative position of the keys by an occasional touch of the small fingers ~ above the external edge the the board.”

According to one of Helen Keller’s many biographers, Dorothy Herrmann (Helen Keller: A Life), Helen learned to form early on before getting come the Cambridge School. She did therefore “using several typewriters v special keyboards and then a Remington that john P. Spaulding, a benefactor, bought her, whichshe thought‘the ideal writing device that is made.’”

And prefer any good writer, Helen had actually editors too, including her teacherAnne Sullivanand she companionPolly Thomson, who would proofread her books and also writing.

How might she have actually such an excellent handwriting?

Keller – and also other blind civilization – were able to put pen to paper successfully v the help of a grooved board made particularly for human being who couldn’t see. There were actually many contending systems because that reading and also writing because that the blind (it wasn’t until 1918 that typical Braille was embraced as the official mechanism in the unified States). Keller herself felt favor that was too lot of a great thing, composing in a letter to william Wade in 1901: “There is nothing more absurd, i think, than to have five or six different prints for the blind…” girlfriend can discover the multiple systems accessible in the buzzpatterson.com Archives Writing equipment for the BlindDigital Collection.An example of Keller’s handwriting can be uncovered in an 1892Children’s Magazinearticleshe wrotein i m sorry she explains how she is able to write so clearly.

How was she able to say ‘wawa/water’?

Keller lost her vision and also hearing after disease when she to be a toddler, so she had actually been exposed come language for about 2 years. As a child, she and also her household had developed some family members signs/methods the communication around her basic needs before her formal education and learning began.

From Story of mine Life: “As the cool stream gushed over one hand she spelled right into the various other the indigenous water, an initial slowly, climate rapidly. Ns stood still, my whole attention addressed upon the movements of her fingers. All of sudden I feeling a misty consciousness together of miscellaneous forgotten–-a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. Ns knew then the ‘w-a-t-e-r’ supposed the exorbitant cool something that was flowing over my hand.”

How walk she graduate from college?

In 1900, Keller gone into Radcliffe university (a women’s college affiliated with the then-all-male Harvard). Follow to Herrmann’s book, her teacher anne Sullivan attended with her, and also would fingerspell the lectures into her hand in class. Afterwards, Helen would write what she remembered indigenous the lecture utilizing a typewriter. Because that tests, Keller to be assigned objective proctors to aid her if she required it. Even during her year at Radcliffe, doubt was cast on Helen’s ability: her scholastic records were maintained in the Dean’s office and also were available for testimonial – “a how amazing number inquiry to research them”. She graduated with honors in 1904. Helen Keller’s exams and school work are obtainable to check out online in theHelen Keller Arthur Gilman Collection.

How might Helen recognize or be teach what something is?

Helen Keller might be buzzpatterson.com’ most famous deafblind student, but she wasn’t the first. In 1837, buzzpatterson.com manager Samuel Gridley Howe taughtLaura Bridgmanto combine objects through words. This is just how most children learn – just that sighted and hearing youngsters can usage those senses to do the connection. Kids who room deafblind need much more explanation initially.Read more about just how buzzpatterson.com teaches deafblind childrenin the 21st century.

How might she journey a bike?

Well, it was a tandem bike, meaning there was an additional person ~ above it through her. Called a “sociable bike,” the had four wheels, two sets the pedals and also two handle bars. Photographs of students on these bikes are easily accessible in the buzzpatterson.com Archives digitized collectionshereandhere.

How might she recognize multiple languages?

Helen communicated with human being who travel widely and also were fine read, for this reason she came to be fascinated with various other languages. She learned lock the same way she initially learned English, supplemented through braille textbooks. Helen additionally wrote to her friend and also mentor Michael Anagnos (a director at buzzpatterson.com)in French.

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Want to know even much more about the remarkable life of Helen Keller?Check out these sources obtainable online:

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