Kicking Off Women’s History Month and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with NEW Trailblazer Helen Keller
This month is doubly special as we celebrate both Women's History Month and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! And what better way to kick things off than with Helen Keller, one of our newest Trailblazers?
Our fellow parents reading this no doubt know who Helen Keller is as we all grew up reading and hearing about her incredible story, but it seems that younger generations are becoming less and less familiar with her. But the best part of our job is teaching little ones about amazing trailblazing women in history that they might otherwise not hear about or be taught in school. Plus, there are no doubt parts of Helen's story that even adults may not know or remember. So allow us to share a little piece of her story!
Helen Adams Keller (1880 – 1968) was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Keller lost her sight and hearing at the age of nineteen months to an illness now believed to have been scarlet fever. Five years later, on the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, her parents hired teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan. Through Sullivan's extraordinary instruction, Keller learned to read and write in Braille and to use the hand signals of the deaf-mute, which she could understand only by touch! With Sullivan repeating the lectures into her hand, Keller studied at schools for the deaf in Boston and New York City and graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1904.
Her unprecedented accomplishments in overcoming her disabilities made her a celebrity at an early age; at twelve she published an autobiographical sketch in the Youth's Companion, and during her junior year at Radcliffe she produced her first book, The Story of My Life, still in print in over fifty languages!
Widely honored throughout the world, Keller altered the world's perception of the capacities of the handicapped. More than any act in her long life, her courage, intelligence, and dedication combined to make her a symbol of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity!
To celebrate Helen Keller and Women's History Month at large, we've expanded our Trailblazer Coloring Pages to include the entire collection! They're free to download and available to print right at home. Download your Helen Keller Coloring Page Here!
Want to learn more about Helen's story? We've rounded up some of our favorite books for kids of all ages to read about Helen Keller and her amazing legacy:
by Joseph Lambert
by Sarah Albee
by Gare Thompson
by Brad Meltzer
by Barbara Catchpole
by Bonnie Bader
by Shannen Yauger
by Christine Platt
by Lesa Cline-Ransome