Posted on June 27, 2015
One of the most famous deaf people in the world was also blind.
Of course, I'm talking about the same person: Helen Keller, who was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts (university) degree. She became an author, lecturer, and political activist. She worked on behalf of workers' rights, women's right to vote, and other causes.
The story of her teacher Anne Sullivan breaking through Keller's isolation as a child, allowing her to communicate, to learn, and to blossom into a contributing member of society, was immortalized in the play and film The Miracle Worker. Keller's birthplace, the town of Tuscumbia, Alabama, has been turned into a museum, and Helen Keller Day is celebrated by the state of Pennsylvania, Tuscumbia, and others.
Keller has been inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame and appears on the Alabama state quarter. (That quarter is the only circulating U.S. coin to feature braille.) Hospitals, streets, and schools have been named for Keller – and not just in Alabama or even the U.S.; there are streets named for her in at least Switzerland, Spain, Israel, Portugal, France, and the U.S.!
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