Helen Keller Biography

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In History
  • Helen Keller's Birth

    Helen Keller's Birth
    Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. The name of her birth place is Ivy Green. It is now a historic house museum (pictured) which commemorates the life of Helen Keller. The video linked is a read aloud from our textbook on Helen's life. Helen Keller Read Aloud
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    Helen Keller's Life

  • Helen lost her eyesight and hearing

    Helen lost her eyesight and hearing
    Helen Keller was born with her eyesight and hearing. She lost these capabilities when she became very ill at the age of 19 months old. Her doctor compared her disease to scarlet fever. A few days after her high fever broke, her Mom noticed she wasn’t responding when the bell was rung for dinner, or when a hand was waved in front of her face. Helen's illness
  • Martha Washington's Sign Language

    Martha Washington's Sign Language
    Helen grew up with Martha Washington (their cook's daughter) who created a type of sign language to use with Helen. Helen and Martha eventually learned more than 60 signs to communicate together. But this did not help Helen's behavior. She acted uncontrollably and was very frustrated often.
    Helen's Childhood
  • Looking for help

    Looking for help
    In 1886, Keller’s mother looked for help and inspiration from doctors. She took Helen to a specialist, Dr. Chisholm. He recommended Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor of the telephone) who was working with deaf children at the time. Mr. Bell referred Helen to the Perkins Institution in Boston where Anne Sullivan started working with Helen. Read more about Alexander Graham Bell & Helen's friendship
  • Helen's Breakthrough. "w-a-t-e-r"

    Helen's Breakthrough.        "w-a-t-e-r"
    Helen Keller had a breakthrough when Anne Sullivan poured water over her hand, signing “water” into her other hand. She began to recognize simple words then. Pictured is the well where Helen had this breakthrough of knowledge. The video will take you to a scene from the movie The Miracle Worker which is based on the life of Helen Keller.
    Water Scene from the Miracle Worker
  • Mrs. Anne Sullivan

    Mrs. Anne Sullivan
    Mrs. Anne Sullivan began working with Helen at her home in 1887. This began a very strong friendship. She began by teaching six year old Helen, simple words and phrases. Anne Sullivan helped her make a great amount of progress with her ability to communicate. Pictured is Anne Sullivan. The video linked discusses Helen Keller's life and Anne Sullivan's impact on her life.
    Video about Helen Keller's Life
  • Helen attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York (1894-1896) City

    Helen attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York (1894-1896) City
    When Helen was 13 she and Anne Sullivan moved to New York City. She attended the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf from 1894 to 1896. She worked on improving her communication skills and studied regular academics as well. Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in New York
  • Attended Cambridge School for Young Ladies & wrote a book

    Attended Cambridge School for Young Ladies & wrote a book
    In 1896, Helen attended the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, a prep school for women. She had already mastered several forms of communication, such as touch-lip reading, Braille, speech, typing and finger-spelling. Keller wrote her first book, The Story of My Life with the help of Anne Sullivan and Anne’s future husband, John Macy. Try the Brail Games!
  • Accepted into Radcliff College

    Accepted into Radcliff College
    In 1899, Helen was accepted into Radcliff College in Cambridge along with her best friend/ teacher Anne, who attended with her to help interpret lectures and texts. Radcliff College
  • Graduated from Radcliffe in 1904

    Graduated from Radcliffe in 1904
    At the age of 24, Helen Keller graduated, cum laude, from Radcliffe in 1904. She fulfilled a life-long dream and showed the world what a determined deaf and blind woman could do. Going to Radcliffe
  • Adult Life

    Adult Life
    Helen very political woman. She became a world-famous author and speaker, and spoke out for people with disabilities. In 1936, Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, died. She experienced significant health problems, lost complete eyesight, and eventually died.
  • Helen's health issues

    Helen's health issues
    In 1961, Keller suffered with health problems and several strokes. She spent the rest of her life at her home in Connecticut. *The picture below shows Helen in front of her home in Connecticut.* Informational Video
  • Helen Passes Away

    Helen Passes Away
    On June 1, 1968, just before she turned 88 years old, Helen died in her sleep. Her life inspired so many people to see how motivation can positively affect people with disabilities. Helen was the definition of courage and perseverance throughout her life as shown in her speeches and works. The quote below demonstrates her attitude on the world. Helen’s ashes were actually placed next to Anne Sullivan's.