After an unknown illness,
Helen loses both her sight and hearing.
The Keller family meets with
Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, who recommends
contacting Michael Anagnos, director of Perkins Institution for the Blind in
Boston. Captain Keller writes to Anagnos, requesting a teacher for Helen.
Anagnos contacts his star pupil and valedictorian, Anne Sullivan, and asks
if she is interested in working with Helen.
Anne Sullivan arrives in
Tuscumbia and begins teaching Helen manual sign language.
Anne Sullivan at age 15
Anne Sullivan was Helenís private teacher and companion from 1887 until
Anne died in 1936.
Although, Anne had very bad eyesight, she was not
completely blind, and she had normal hearing. Several operations
on her eyes helped to restore and maintain her vision.
Helen's principal window to the world. She had to help Helen get around,
and had to finger-spell almost all of the non-Braille books that Helen
read, and all tests. She also had to help Helen write letters, answer
questions, and would interpret for Helen. As Helen would acknowledge in
her book, Teacher ... without Anne, there wouldn't have been a