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[[File:Keller and Sullivan.jpg|thumbnail|270px|left|Helen Keller sits with her teacher, Anne Sullivan, in an 1888 photo, taken while the Keller family was vacationing on Cape Cod
, Massachusetts. Sullivan was so integral to Keller’s development that she traveled everywhere with the family during Keller’s youth. AP Photo Courtesy Thaxter P. Spencer Collection, R. Stanton Avery Special Collections, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.]]
Helen Keller (1880–1967) is best known for her triumph over blindness, deafness, and muteness. Rescued from the isolation of her afflictions as a young girl by the Perkins Institute for the Blind teacher Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to understand a basic form of sign language and learned to “feel” and imitate the sound of the human voice. With a world of comprehension and communication opened to her, Keller excelled, graduating ''cum laude'' from Radcliffe College, eventually writing books about her life and education under Sullivan, appearing in motion pictures to demonstrate her communication methods, and campaigning for the deaf and blind around the world.
==Out of the Darkness and Silence==
Keller was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, to Arthur Keller and Kate Adams Keller. Her first nineteen months were unremarkable, until she contracted a brief unidentifiable illness, characterized by a high fever that left her deaf and blind, and with only snippet memories of the broad fields, wide sky, and tall trees of Tuscumbia. Physicians declared the Kellers’ daughter a hopeless case, suggesting that she be permanently institutionalized, but the devoted parents kept searching for ways to lift her from dark silence. They discovered the Perkins Institute, a training school for the blind in Boston, and inquired about a teacher for Helen. After some discussion, the headmaster sent Anne Sullivan to Tuscumbia, where she was met with an out-of-control, frustrated, and depressed six-year-old child—yet one with a hidden radiance and an eagerness which Sullivan was anxious to tap.
[[File:Keller.jpg|thumbnail|300px|left|Helen Keller reading Braille, circa 1907
. Keller’s access to socialist periodicals in Braille facilitated her adoption of the ideology and fueled her activist spirit. Courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division , Washington, D.C., http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b15767.]]
The outstanding results of the relationship between student and teacher were made famous by the 1962 film ''The Miracle Worker,'' which profiled Sullivan’s ability to connect with Keller and eventually provide her with the tools to learn and communicate by finger spelling words in the palm of her hand.<ref>''The Miracle Worker,'' dir. Arthur Penn (Playfilm Productions, 1962).</ref> Keller’s quick mastery of that method launched her to organized classroom study at the Perkins Institute, where she learned to read Braille and to communicate more freely via the manual alphabet. Her vocal speaking practice was begun at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston. Although her speech would never be perfectly clear (something she regretted all her life), by the age of ten, she could at least make herself heard, and excitedly reported to Sullivan, “I am not dumb now.” <ref>Hattie Schlossberg on Helen Keller's speech patterns, interview, ''New York Call,'' May 4, 1913.</ref>