Helen Keller was born in 1880 with sight and hearing, but an illness at eighteen months left her deaf and blind. Keller overcame these disabilities to became an international spokesperson championing the causes of education, research and opportunity for the blind. Among her many accomplishments are publishing fourteen books, visiting thirty-five countries and meeting every U.S. president from Coolidge to Kennedy.
Helen Keller worked for The American Foundation for the Blind from 1924 until her death in 1968. Although this autobiography page lacks illustration, it is an excellent resource for school reports. There are plenty of Helen Keller photos at AFB.org; they are simply a few clicks away. To uncover them, follow Information Center (in the upper left-hand corner) to Helen Keller Archives. On the archive page, you'll not only be rewarded with photo galleries, but also papers, speeches, and letters.
The Helen Keller Foundation promotes sight, speech and hearing research, carrying on the life's work of their namesake. The biography here is short, and the best reasons to stop by are the photos of Keller and the many luminaries she visited. These include Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplain, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and modern dancer Martha Graham.
My pick-of-day for elementary students comes from Britain's Royal National Institute for the Blind. Although it is all on one page, this Keller biography is divided into many short sections, making it easy to read. Following the bio is a link to page about Louis Braille, the inventor of the system of raised dots used around the world to print books for the blind. There are also three recommended books, but clicking on them will take you to the British Amazon.com.
"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us." This Quotations Page collection includes thirty-eight quotations culled from a variety of online data bases. In addition to the Keller quotes, you'll find the meta-search tool useful for finding other quotations. Quotations can be found from a partial snippet (use the % as a wild card character) or by author.
TIME features Helen Keller as of the one hundred most influential people of the twentieth century. She is categorized as a Hero and Icon, one of just twenty who exemplify "courage, selflessness, exuberance, superhuman ability and amazing grace." Penned by blind jazz singer Diane Schuur, this bio stresses Keller's achievements after the death of her teacher and friend Anne Sullivan. "She was our first star," writes Schuur. "And I am very grateful to her."