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On This Day in History: Helen Keller met the teacher that changed her life

On this day in history 6-year-old Helen Keller met her “miracle worker” Ann Sullivan.

In 1887, Keller’s parents were having trouble communicating with Helen and reached out to Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and an authority on the deaf, for help. He referred them to the Perkins Institution who led them to 20-year-old Sullivan.

She taught Keller by spelling out words in her hand, but it didn’t click until she held Keller’s hand under running water and spelled out w-a-t-e-r. Keller went on to learn how to read, write and speak, and graduated college with honors.

Sullivan is credited with the invention of “touch teaching” techniques. She remained Keller’s interpreter and friend until she passed away.

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