What question will you ask a famous person?
If I had the opportunity to sit down and meet one of my idols or heroes, I could come up with hundreds of questions to find out what they did to get where they are, but in particular I like to have asked Helen Keller, what would she have made of the technology available today to blind and deaf blind individuals?
When Helen Keller was nineteen months old, a serious illness almost took her life. She survived the disease had left her both blind and deaf. Her education contributed to her first teacher, Anne Sullivan. Anne taught Helen to finger spell, and manage to let her understand the meaning of words. Imagine how hard it is for a person both blind and deaf to relate words with real world objects, although she never had a chance to see those objects!
Another teacher Mary Swift Lamson who over the coming year was to try and teach Helen to speak. This was something that Helen desperately wanted and although she learned to understand what somebody else was saying by touching their lips and throat, her efforts to speak herself proved to be unsuccessful. However, Helen moved on to the Cambridge School for Young Ladies and later entered Radcliff College, becoming the first deaf blind person to have ever enrolled at an institution of higher learning.
After World War Two, Helen spent years traveling the world fundraising for the American Foundation for the Overseas Blind. They visited Japan, Australia, South America, Europe and Africa. Her hard work and achievements was widely recognized throughout the world, and she was acknowledged as “the Miracle Worker.”
If Helen Keller were born today her life would undoubtedly have been completely different. Her life long dream was to be able to talk, something that she was never really able to master. Today the teaching methods exist that would have helped Helen to realize this dream. What would Helen have made of the technology available today to blind and deaf blind individuals? Technology of today has enabled blind and deaf blind people, like Helen, to communicate directly, and independently, with anybody in the world.