Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia/public domain

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.

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”
-Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

Photo courtesy of daveynin/flickr
Photo courtesy of daveynin/flickr

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.

It is estimated that there are over 40,000 people in the United States who are deaf and blind.

According to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, there is a variety of possible causes of deaf-blindness:

  • Maternal rubella
  • Usher syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Maternal drug use
  • Aids
  • Herpes
  • Syphilis

The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults published President Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Proclamation 5214, establishing the Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, which this year began June 21 and ends June 27 on Helen Keller’s birthday. From the proclamation:

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, 1984

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

“Our eyes and ears provide vital ways of interacting with the world around us. The lilt of laughter, the beat of a brass band, the smile of a friend, and the poetry of a landscape are but a few of the life blessings that our senses of sight and hearing help us to enjoy. But for some 40,000 Americans who can neither see nor hear, the world can be a prison of darkness and silence…”

“On June 27 we commemorate the 104th anniversary of the birth of Helen Keller, America’s most renowned and respected deaf-blind person. Her accomplishments serve as a beacon of courage and hope for our Nation, symbolizing what deaf-blind people can achieve…”

“Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.”
-Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

For further information about how to participate in or provide support for the Helen Keller Deaf-Blindness Awareness Week, contact:

c/o Development Department
(516) 944-8900 ext. 310
TTY: (516) 944-8637

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2015 by At Your Home Familycare

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Communities Digital News

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.

Laurie Edwards-Tate
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today. Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service. Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home. Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. Follow Laurie and AYHF at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare