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Helen Keller And Institutions For The Disabled People

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 7 (1562 words)
Categories: Disability,Disorder,Health,Helen Keller,Literature,People,Writers
Downloads: 10
Views: 1

Far before many modern institutions were made for the disabled people, they were looked as “insane” and were treated unfairly usually sent to asylums where they often were left neglected and put in harsh conditions because they were “useless” to society. They were believed to be incapable of work because of their dysfunction and were never considered important enough to deserve any type of education because others assumed that they couldn’t achieve what component people could do. Up until this time, most were embarrassed to claim a child who was either deaf or blind, and giving them education was usually their last concern.

After Helen Keller and her success, many were left with a feeling of opportunity and a sense of a positive outcome. Increasing education and building on to the very few institutions established during this time she changed the perspective in society. Although they were only a limited amount of educational institutions during her childhood it didn’t intervene with her motivation of learning she traveled to attend ‘Perkins school for the blind’ and went on to receive her bachelors.

Helen Keller along with Dorothea Dix and Samuel Howe advocated for better treatment of those with learning disabilities and reformed it into the government. “children ask profound questions, but they often receive shallow answers, they are quieted by such answers”. (Keller, 204) her questions and curiosity during education were often put aside in her early years due to other views on her complications but it didn’t quiet her. Helen Keller is one of the most recognized individuals as she set remarkable achievements that improved conditions for the disabled. Dealing with complicated conditions in the late eighteen hundred that was yet far from being normalized, and furthermore going on to be the first to obtain a bachelor’s degree while being both deaf and blind. Helen was later honored for all she did including actively being an advocate for women’s rights, forming organizations and programs for the blind, and publishing books with the determination to steer others in a progressive path.

Born a healthy baby within months of her birth she became ill; the doctor identified the illness as congestion and assumed she wouldn’t be living for much longer. Gradually the congestion caused her to become both deaf and blind. By the age of five, she and her family had acknowledged the challenges of her disability. She became a handful causing her mom to have an immediate need of a teacher for Helen. It was quite challenging to find education for Helen as they sought many places for help her dad came across “Dr. bell who advised them to reach out to the institution of Perkins school for the blind established by Dr. Howe to begin her education”.(Keller, pg. 24) A couple of months later Anne Sullivan came into her life when she was seven and became her teacher leaving an immense influence in her life as she credits throughout her books. Helen would often lash out because of the frustration built unfortunately because no one was able to understand her, but Anne Sullivan was very patient through it all. brought a new beginning to Helen as she introduced her to the sense of touch bringing a way to express herself by tracing over letters and objects were she felt more connected to the world and within time Helen began eagerly to continue learning as she grew more and more able to reveal her abilities. The baby steps taken eventually became milestones that would change the course of education.

Perkins School for the blind brought comfort into Helen’s life where she began to sympathize with the other students who faced similar challenges. By the age of ten she was fluently able to read which all were taught only by touch through Annie for instance in her early childhood Helen recalls the sense of touch being a big part of her learning experience “I did nothing but explore with my hands and learn every object I touched” ( Keller, 28) Miss Sullivan would take her across the fields where Helen enjoyed spending most of her time learning. The Braille technique which is used amongst the blind, a system of touch used for moving your fingers across during reading wasn’t yet as popular she explored the braille system and even educated others who had very little knowledge at the time about it, this was a big learning step for the blind. At ten, she wrote, “The Frost King,” by Dr. Anagnos, from this short story she received a lot of criticism pertaining that whole sections had been from another author’s book. Shadowed by the incident, Keller had difficulty convincing critics of the originality and realism of the writings during her youth, which were all about education of the handicapped. When she published her autobiography, The Story of My Life (1902), critics argued that it was ghosted by her teacher Anne Sullivan. Others claimed that, because of her isolation from “normal” experiences, Keller’s “observations” were of necessity secondhand, derivative, lacking in experiential wisdom, and therefore worthless. Much more quietly, she completed her education during these years, moving from the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf in 1894 to the Cambridge School for Young Ladies (1896-1897). She was admitted to Radcliffe in 1900. Keller’s improbable success (she took the same entrance exams as all others and graduated in 1904 with honors in German and English) answered most of the critics. Her protean accomplishments caused Mark Twain to dub her “the greatest woman since Joan of Arc”. (Reiman, 1999) Years later Helen continued her studies with even more eagerness after being accepted to Radcliffe as a result of something she’s worked persistently for. But to contrary this was the first time she was around people who weren’t deaf or blind who didn’t need all the necessities she did college had set up many disadvantages for her, she explains “in the classroom, I am practically alone. The professor is as remote as if he were speaking through a telephone. The words rush through my hand like hounds in pursuit of a hare which they often miss.” (Keller, 82) Furthering her level of education was different than what Helen expected prior to beginning college no longer having someone to guide her throughout and just passing as an everyday student. Even facing disadvantages within class requirements like her books only a few were printed for the blind while others weren’t, so she had to spend a large amount of her time “I am obligated to have them spelled into my hand. Consequently, I need more time to prepare for my lessons than the other girls” (Keller, 83) while facing several obstacles along the way she managed to write several books her autobiography just covered briefly of things she achieves in her early life. Helen Keller went on to become a known motivational speaker and became an active campaigner for human rights not only speaking on people who were dealing with disabilities or the handicapped but also with social problems at the time. As she went on Anne Sullivan accompanied her. Helen explains a big part of her interest in writing books began because while she still had some trouble with speaking writing was more effective as she felt more comfortable communicating this way with others. By the early nineteen hundred she released several books and formed an audience, she used her popularity for good becoming a symbol of personal courage. She was an advocate for women’s rights, disability rights, and social issues. She was against united states wars because she saw past what the government would put out and saw wars for what they were, profit to businesses only created to make the rich richer, She militantly opposed American entry into World War I, calling it a “capitalistic war.” it was uncommon to go against at the time speaking against the government could result in spending time in jail but that didn’t stop her. Women’s voting was looked over as unnecessary but unlike men, women carried sensitivity and were humanitarians in society Helen campaigned that votes for women is a sure cure for war. Becoming Pacifism brought her the most enthusiasm. “Let no workingman join the army that is to be organized by order of Congress,” she declared in 1915, and Keller was less strident thereafter, but she still denounced militarism and refused to retract her earlier statements. Socialism, which called for aid to the most helpless and to the disadvantaged, appealed to her. Her support for radicalism was thus of a piece with her humanitarianism and her self-conscious crusade for the essential equality of the handicapped. Her radicalism only hardened in the wake of public criticism, which she took as a sign of prejudice toward those in her condition. “I do not object to harsh criticism,” she explained, “so long as I am treated like a human being with a mind of her own.” (Reidman, 1999)

Helen Keller impacted the world globally with her contributions to help others. Nor losing both her sight and hearing held her from proving society that it might be more challenging for her but she is just as capable as others to accomplish great things.

Works Cited

  • Keller, Helen. The STORY of MY LIFE. New York, N.Y Norton and company, Inc. published 2003
  • Reiman, Richard A. “Kellen. Helen.” Published in print: 1999 Published online: February 2000.

Cite this essay

Helen Keller And Institutions For The Disabled People. (2019, Dec 10). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/helen-keller-example-essay

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