Helen Keller was visually- and hearing-impaired. The Helen Keller accomplishments was achieved irrespective of these disabilities. It is living proof of somebody that can make a big contribution to society irrespective of the circumstances.

In 1999 she was listed in Gallup’s most widely Admired People of the 20th century. .She was named one of the most important people of the twentieth century by Life magazine. Learn why she received these and many accolades and awards.

Helen Keller was born on 27 June, 1880 in Alabama, USA. When she was 19 months old, she contracted a fever which affected her brain and though no-one knew whether it was Scarlet Fever or Meningitis, left her hearing- and sight-impaired.

Never one to let her handicap slow her down, Helen Keller became the first visually- and hearing-impaired person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree which she did in 1904. From then on, she made it her life’s work to help and inspire the visually-impaired as well as those who, like herself, were both visually- and hearing-impaired.

During her lifetime, Helen Keller received many prestigious awards in her fight for equal rights and met many famous and influential people including Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Twain, not to mention all 11 presidents from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon B Johnson. This was mostly due to the fact that she loved to travel and together, she and Sullivan travelled to over 39 countries in total, including several trips to Japan where she became a firm favourite of the Japanese people.

She was a suffragette, a pacifist and a firm opponent of Woodrow Wilson. In addition, Helen Keller was known as a radical socialist and member of the Socialist Party of America as well as a birth control supporter at a time when the Catholic Church frowned upon birth control.

In 1915, Helen Keller and George Kessler founded Helen Keller International (HKI), an organisation devoted to further research in the fields of vision, health and nutrition. In 1920, she also helped found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and later became a world-famous speaker and author. She wrote using a Braille typewriter to prepare her manuscripts and then copied them on a regular typewriter.

In addition, she was a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers, writing most frequently on blindness, deafness, socialism, social issues, and women’s rights. She also wrote books about her own disabilities and how she managed to overcome them.

She proved that being visually-impaired and/or hearing-impaired did not equal stupid or unable to receive an education.

Her biggest accomplishments or the legacy she has left behind: 

Almost everything Helen Keller did was an accomplishment. The name Helen Adams Keller is known around the world as a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

Helen Keller’s major accomplishments include becoming an author. She was also a lecturer and an activist, despite being both visually- and hearing-impaired. Basically Helen Keller’s whole life was one major accomplishment due to her bravery, strength and many talents – the most notable of all being the ability to overcome such severe disability.

Her Helen Keller International organization remains one of the world’s foremost international, non-profit organizations dedicated to the prevention and eradication of blindness and malnutrition through education.

She was a woman of luminous intelligence, high ambition and great accomplishments who dedicated and devoted her life to helping others. During her lifetime Helen Keller ranked consistently amongst the highest on the “most admired” list.

She was a woman of luminous intelligence, high ambition and great accomplishments who dedicated and devoted her life to helping others

On October 7, 2009, a bronze statue of Helen Keller was erected to replace the State of Alabama’s former 1908 statue of the education reformer, Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry and added to the National Statuary Hall Collection. On show in the United States Capitol Visitor Center, it depicts Keller as a seven-year-old child standing at a water pump. The statue represents the seminal moment in Keller’s life when she understood her first word: W-A-T-E-R, as signed into her hand by teacher Anne Sullivan. The pedestal base bears a quotation in raised Latin and braille letters: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”\ This  statue is the first one of a person with a disability and of a child to be permanently displayed at the United States Capitol.

We Will Never Forget The Great Helen Keller.

  • In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL of FREEDOM, one of the highest 2 civilian awards in the USA.
  • In 1995 she was elected to the Woman’s Hall of Fame at the New York Fair.
  • In 2003, Alabama honored it’s daughter on the state quarter.
  • In 1955 she received an Academy Award for the documentary about her life: “Helen Keller in Her Story”
  • In 2003, Alabama honored its native daughter on its state quarter.
  • Helen later received Brazil’s Order of the Southern Cross.
  • Helen Keller received the Philippines’ Golden Heart Award.
  • She received the Lions Humanitarian Award for lifetime service.
  • In 1991 Helen Keller received Japan’s Sacred Treasure Award.
  • In 1999 she was listed in Gallup’s most widely Admired People of the 20e century.
  • She was named one of the most important people of the twentieth century by Life magazine.
  • Many organizations do have special rewards named after Helen Keller. Some of these are:On the 50th anniversary of her graduation from Radcliffe College, she received the Alumnae Achievement Award.
  • The Helen Keller Achievement Awards were established by American Foundation for the Blind in 1994 to acknowledge extraordinary efforts and promote the achievements of individuals and organizations that have improved quality of life for all people with vision loss.
  • The Shell Helen Keller awards symbolize an equal playing field for people with disabilities. Every year, 10 role models are selected – those who have been doing exemplary work towards helping Shell Helen Keller awards find position of equality and dignity in the workplace.
  • Radcliffe also dedicated the Helen Keller Garden to her.
  • The Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama is dedicated to her.
  • There is a street named after her in Getafe, Spain.
  • She received a B.A. cum laude in 1904 from Radcliffe College.
  • Helen Keller received various doctoral degrees. Some of them from: Temple University, Harvard, Universities of Glasgow, Berlin, Delhi and Johannesburg.

Brief life of a woman who found her own way: 1880-1968 (Harvard Magazine,July-August 2004)


Both Deaf and Blind, Helen Keller Became a Writer and Activist (About.com,September 26, 2013)


The Miracle HELEN KELLER (Time Magezine ,Monday, June 14, 1999)


Helen Keller, 87, Dies (The New York Times , June 2, 1968)


An infectious ‘Helen Keller’ from Reinking, Thodos By Sid Smith, ( Special to the Tribune | March 3, 2013)


Helen Keller Week Named(June 27, 1985,The Los Angles Times)

Totally deaf and blind from the age of 19 months, world famous at seven for having learned to read, write, and communicate through the finger alphabet, Helen Keller took it into her head, as a teenager addicted to books, to apply for admission to Radcliffe College. She really wanted to go to Harvard, which would not consider her.

For four years she prepped and was tutored for examinations in English literature, French, German, Latin, Greek, history, and mathematics. Working on a typewriter, she earned satisfactory grades in all subjects; for the bugaboo of geometry, she relied on tactile diagrams made of raised letters and lines. Radcliffe admitted her.

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Helen Keller became both blind and deaf after suffering a nearly fatal illness at 19 months of age. Seemingly sentenced to a life of isolation, Helen made a dramatic breakthrough at the age of six, when she learned to communicate with the help of her teacher, Annie Sullivan. Unlike many disabled people of her era, Helen refused to live in seclusion; instead, she achieved fame as a writer, humanitarian, and social activist. Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind individual to earn a college degree.

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(She altered our perception of the disabled and remapped the boundaries of sight and sense)

Helen Keller was less than two years old when she came down with a fever. It struck dramatically and left her unconscious. The fever went just as suddenly. But she was blinded and, very soon after, deaf. As she grew up, she managed to learn to do tiny errands, but she also realized that she was missing something. “Sometimes,” she later wrote, “I stood between two persons who were conversing and touched their lips. I could not understand, and was vexed. I moved my lips and gesticulated frantically without result. This made me so angry at times that I kicked and…

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WESTPORT, Conn., June 1–Helen Keller, who overcame blindness and deafness to become a symbol of the indomitable human spirit, died this afternoon in her home here. She was 87 years old.

“She drifted off in her sleep,” said Mrs. Winifred Corbally, Miss Keller’s companion for the last 11 years, who was at her bedside. “She died gently.” Death came at 3:35 P.M.

She is survived by a brother, Phillips B. Keller of Dallas, and a sister, Mrs. Mildred Tyson of Montgomery, Ala.

After private cremation, a funeral service will be held at the National Cathedral in Washington. No date has yet been set.

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Two sequences stand out in “A Light in the Dark,” Ann Reinking and Melissa Thodos’ collaborative dance about Helen Keller. When young Helen is first introduced to her teacher, Anne Sullivan, she almost smothers her with gropes and touches–unmistakably the blind-and-deaf girl’s only way of absorbing the world. The scene is visceral illustration of the power of dance to enlighten–not just Helen’s isolation, but her feverish hunger to know and learn is telegraphed.

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President Reagan on Wednesday signed a congressional resolution designating this week as “Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week.”

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