Helen Keller Day

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Today is Helen Keller Day, which commemorates the life and achievements of the American activist, author, and suffragist.

Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Ala., and lost her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months to an illness now believed to have been scarlet fever. Five years later, on the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, her parents applied to the Perkins Institute for the Blind in Boston for a teacher, and from that school hired Anne Mansfield Sullivan. Through Sullivan’s extraordinary instruction, the little girl learned to understand and communicate with the world around her. She went on to acquire an excellent education and to become an important influence on the treatment of people with disabilities.

The holiday was first proclaimed on March 23, 1960 by Newark, New Jersey mayor Leo P. Carlin. On June 19, 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation to honoring Helen Keller with the annual observance.

Related: Newcastle job seeker named spokeswoman for Deaf-Blind Awareness Week. Read it here: http://www.okdrs.org/mr/2017/deafblindawscochran