Essay By Helen Keller

I knew then that w-a-t-e-r meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand.The living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, set it free!

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She had four siblings; two full siblings, Mildred Campbell (Keller) Tyson and Phillip Brooks Keller, and two older half-brothers from her father's prior marriage, James Mc Donald Keller and William Simpson Keller.

One of Helen's Swiss ancestors was the first teacher for the deaf in Zurich.

“I was simply making my fingers go in monkey-like imitation.” Keller's breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of "water".

Writing in her autobiography, The Story of My Life, Keller recalled the moment.

In 1904, at the age of 24, Keller graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Radcliffe, becoming the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

She maintained a correspondence with the Austrian philosopher and pedagogue Wilhelm Jerusalem, who was one of the first to discover her literary talent.

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer.

She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Determined to communicate with others as conventionally as possible, Keller learned to speak and spent much of her life giving speeches and lectures on aspects of her life.

She learned to "hear" people's speech by reading their lips with her hands—her sense of touch had heightened.


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