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Helen Keller

By Brooke Kershner

Helen Keller: Success Through Persistence

Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama to Kate and Arthur Keller.


Helen could hear and see when she was born. When she was 19 months old, she got sick she became ill and had a high fever. The fever left her blind and deaf.

Helen's parents were freaked out about her being deaf and blind. Her parents had a hard time with her as a child. Her mom spoils her. Her parents had enough money to hire to a personal teacher. Alexander Graham Bell was a friend of the family. He contacted the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston. When Helen Keller was seven years old, the Perkins school sent Anne Sullivan to teach her. Before Anne Sullivan came, Helen's dad wanted to send her to the crazy house.

Helen's experiences with Anne Sullivan helped her to learn sign language, rules, writings, and behaviors. Anne Sullivan taught her the sign language alphabet. When Helen wanted a doll. Anne Sullivan taught her the letters for the word D-O-L-L. Helen had to repeat back letters for the word D-O-L-L, or Anne would not give her doll back. That's how Helen Keller learned words and communication. Anne taught Helen proper manners. For example when Helen wanted to eat lunch Anne taught her how to eat and nicely. Helen had to eat nicely, or Anne would not give her food.  Anne taught Helen how behave around her parents and others. For example, when Helen wanted go home Anne taught her to get dressed. Helen had to learn to get dressed by herself, or Anne would not let her go home.

Helen accomplished many things. She graduated from Radcliffe Collage. She also learned five languages. Three of the languages were Latin, French, and German. Helen Keller learned to read and write in Braille. She learned speak by feeling vibrations and feeling the lips for shape of the sounds.

Helen Keller was important because even though she had disabilities she still learned a lot of things. Helen Keller was persistent and she never gave up. One example of her persistence was when she went to college. Radcliffe college told Helen to not attend. She went anyway.  A lot people who have a disabilities give up. Helen Keller has inspired people with disabilities to be persistent.

Helen's life was full of challenges, but she worked hard to beat those challenges. Her experiences made her stronger. Her accomplishments were surprising because she was blind and deaf. Helen used her experiences and persistence to accomplish great things.

Works Cited

Forrest, Ellen. Helen Keller. Tucson: Learning Page, 2005. Print.

"Helen Keller." Spartacus Educational. Web. 1 May 2012. <>.

"In Search of the Heroes": Tragedy to Triumph--Helen Keller." Welcome to "In Search of the Heroes" Web. 01 May 2012. <>.

Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life. New York: Bantam, 1990. Print.


The Miracle Worker. Dir. Arthur Penn. Perf. Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke. United Artists, 1962. Videocassette.

Also see: Helen Keller: An Inspiration

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