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Helen was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, on July 27, 1880.  She was a bright and healthy child, but at the age of 19 months she became very ill and almost died.  Luckily, shesurvived, but her life was changed forever- she was blind and deaf.  Her disabilities seemed to cut her off from the world forever. Without a sight or sound, how could shecommunicate and learn?

Helen Keller was a very bright, sensitive, and determined woman.  The most remarkable thing about her was that even though she had two disabilities, shenever gave up and lived a very successful life.  She dedicated her life to helping people, and her greatest achievement was proving to the world that even with disabilities, anyonecan achieve his or her dreams.

The following few years proved very hard for Helen and her family. Helen became a very difficult child, smashing dishes and lamps andterrorising the whole household with her screaming and temper tantrums. Relatives regarded her as a monster and thought she should be put into an institution.

By the time Helenwas six her family had become desperate. Looking after Helen was proving too much for them. Kate Keller had read in Charles Dickens' book "American Notes" of the fantastic workthat had been done with another deaf and blind child, Laura Bridgman, and travelled to a specialist doctor in Baltimore for advice. They were given confirmation that Helen wouldnever see or hear again but were told not to give up hope, the doctor believed Helen could be taught and he advised them to visit a local expert on the problems of deafchildren. This expert was Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, Bell was now concentrating on what he considered his true vocation, the teaching of deaf children.
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