Helen Keller - Archive

Who Are the Role Models Since Helen Keller?

July 29, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

HUFFINGTON POST 
By Janice S. Lintz

South Africa’s Freedom Charter was adopted in 1955. The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990. The United Kingdom followed five years later with the Disability Discrimination Act. Yet where are all the great leaders championing access for people with hearing loss?

Nelson Mandela wore hearing aids but he is only known for overcoming apartheid in South Africa. Malala Yousafzai wears a cochlear implant, but she never mentions it when she speaks about educating girls. Academy Award Winner and actress Jodi Foster stood up at the Oscars to declare she was a lesbian but never mentioned that she wears a hearing aid despite its prominence in a Daily Mail photograph.

There are 360 million people worldwide with some form of hearing loss. How can an issue be so pervasive but with no recognizable role models or leaders? There are great advocates within the insular hearing loss community but no person who captivates the world.

Why are people willing to discuss their race, religion, gender, age and sexual orientation but unwilling to discuss their hearing loss? Is hearing loss so stigmatized that we have created what Dr. Julie Gurner, a leadership consultant, calls a “culture of shame”? She explains: “Prominent figures hide their hearing loss so perhaps other people feel maybe they should hide theirs as well.” The press ridiculed Prince Philip when he was first seen wearing hearing aids.

Read more  . . .  Role Models

 

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

June 23, 2015 in Community News

 
Communities Digital News

SAN DIEGO, June 23, 2015 — Helen Keller was a deaf-blind American woman whose courageous journey began on June 27, 1880, and who continued to inspire the world until her death at the age of 87.

Born with normal hearing and sight, at 19 months she suffered an illness of “acute congestion of the stomach and brain” that was believed to have been the cause of her lifelong deafness and blindness, according to Wikipedia.

The exact nature of her illness is not known, though it has been speculated that she suffered from a form of meningitis or possibly scarlet fever.

Keller was brilliantly portrayed by Patty Duke in the Oscar award-winning 1962 movie “The Miracle Worker,” which helped showcase her struggles and triumphs to an international audience.

Despite her incomparable struggle to become relevant in the world with which she could not communicate, Keller later triumphed over seemingly insurmountable adversity, becoming a well-known author, activist, lecturer and world traveler–also having earned a bachelor of arts degree from Radcliffe College.
Read more  . . . .Helen Keller