It is impossible to hear the story of Helen Keller and not feel inspired. Born into Alabama gentry, illness robbed Helen of the ability to see and hear at the age of 19 months.
Cut off from the world around her, Helen was denied the ability to communicate with those she loved. When she was six, Helen's parents sought the advice of Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell referred the Kellers to the Perkins Institute for the Blind, where a former student, Miss Anne Sullivan, was assigned to work with Helen.
Anne Sullivan became part of the Keller household in 1887. She began teaching Helen to communicate by spelling the names of objects into the palm of her hand. After the realization that everything had a name, Helen began to display a remarkable intellect. She determined to learn how to speak, even though she could not hear the words she was speaking. In 1904, Helen became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating cum laude from Radcliffe.
Helen's speech was difficult to understand for those who were not with her on a constant basis. In her radio appearances she is accompanied by Miss Polly Thomson who had been hired as a housekeeper but eventually became Helen's secretary and companion. In 1936, Helen appears on The Fleischmann's Yeast Program with Rudy Vallee just before the mid-point break. She is introduced by Edward R. Murrow in 1951's This I Believe.
See also: Blind Tales in Old Time Radio and Blind Terror Collection.