Works of Helen Keller

The Helen Keller Foundation

Tina S
Tina S
Nov 18, 2009
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The work of Helen Keller definitely changed the perspective of many people concerning the disabled. Her work to help the blind and deaf would not have been possible had she not been one.
Helen toured many countries, brought courage and motivated the persons with disabilities, especially the blind and the visually impaired to love themselves, to be educated, self reliant and empowered. She placed herself as an example of overcoming many odds with confidence and a firm determination.

Helen Keller dedicated her life for the betterment of the persons with blindness and the visual impairments, but, unfortunately, still they are the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. To make sure the success of her noble vision, Helen Keller visited many countries (about 50) and delivered lecture asking them to practice their rights.

She said, "I do not like the world as it is; so I am trying to make it a little more as I want it". She further said, "Blind people are just like seeing people in the dark. The loss of sight does not impair the qualities of mind and heart". And "Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look at the world straight in the face".

To bring a positive change of the mindset-- Helen met all the Presidents of the United States of America (USA) during her time. She set up a unique example of working for the blind despite being a blind and deaf person herself. She used to do everything like a brilliant scholar with sight intelligently, confidently.

On the other hand, Helen did not have eyesight but a clear and noble vision to save sight and lives of the people, to show this world that all persons of any race, caste and community, every individual has the right to see. So all of us should perform our tasks to finish her unfinished jobs, e. g. to ensure respect for due rights of all people and to let our fellow persons with disabilities explore the opportunities to lead honorable, successful and meaningful lives.

To institutionalize her remarkable works, Helen Keller and George Kessler (a German-American Pioneer city planner) founded Helen Keller International (HKI) in 1915. At that time they named it American Foundation for the Blind, and the next year it was named Helen Keller International after the name of the great lady.
In this foundation Helen and Annie had to travel to many different countries and give speeches to help raise money for the blind (Lawlor 139). They traveled to 123 different cities just in the United states and raised more than $1 million.
Due to her efforts, men like Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Cowboy comedian Will Rogers donated millions of dollars to the American Foundation for the Blind.

After Sullivan’s death in 1936, Helen went on with her work for the blind. Her and her new assistant, Polly Thomson, went to Japan to raise money for their blind. By this time Keller had come to be admired by the entire world for her efforts, so the Japanese were no different in admiring her.
They also came to all her ninety-seven lectures in thirty- nine cities. She managed to raise thirty-five million yen for them. Helen was also one of the only people to be invited to the imperial castle of the Japanese Emperor (Beckwith).

Currently, Helen Keller International (HKI) is a leading international not-for-profit, private voluntary organization, devoted to combating blindness and malnutrition worldwide. It has programs in 22 countries including Bangladesh. Not only HKI, Helen Keller was involved with many voluntary organizations to serve the needy and destitute.

In fact, for transforming Helen Keller into a brilliant student, an uncommon social and development activist, author of several books, a successful advocate and a well-known unparallel person to the people worldwide--all credits should go to her great teacher Anne Sullivan. We must acknowledge the contribution and dedication of that noble soul. She was the companion of Helen Keller until her death. Evaluating her excellent creativeness as a teacher of Helen, Mark Twin conferred Anne with the tribute 'the miracle worker'!

As part of recognition of lifelong contribution--Helen got many national and international prestigious awards, honorary Doctoral Degrees of different Universities of the world and America's highest honour: Presidential Medal of Freedom. The documentary film "Helen Keller in Her Story" won an Oscar award. Nancy Hamilton produced that film, both Helen and Anne and others acted in it.
Helen also had very strong political beliefs, but these beliefs were not appreciated. Not many people liked Helen or other women to say anything out side the matters of the house. Keller spoke out about both World War I and II. She visited veterans of both WWI and WWII, especially visiting those who had lost their vision or hearing in the war.

Keller also worked for women’s rights. While she was attending Radcliffe College, she joined the Women's Education and Industrial Union in Boston. In this group she helped to promote welfare of the adult blind. She along with many others pleaded with the legislature that blind, like everyone else, needed work. She also worked on the Controversial subjects such as that of birth control. Keller thought it was an important idea for women's freedom.

The Helen Keller Foundation still works to help the blind, along with doing research to prevent blindness. Due to her work, and many others, women are finally allowed to vote and birth control is available to all women. Her help in standardizing the Braille form was also very important, now all the blind have one writing style they have to learn.

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