Louis Braille born4 January (1809 – 6 January 1852)was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains known worldwide simply as braille. Blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received scholarship to France’s Royal Institute for Blind Youth. While still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind persons to read and write quickly and efficiently. Inspired by the military cryptography of CharlesBar bier, Braille constructed a new method built specifically for the needs of the blind. He presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824.Braille was born inCoupvray, France, a small town about twenty miles east of Paris. He and his three elder siblings – Monique Catherine Josephine Braille, Louis-Simon Braille, and MarieCeline Braillelived with their mother, Monique, and father, Simon-Rene, on three hectares of land and vineyards in the countryside. Simon-Rene maintained a successful enterprise as aleatherier and maker of horse tack.As soon as he could walk, Braille spent time playing in hisfather’sworkshop. At the age of three, the child was toying with some of the tools, trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl. Squinting closely at the surface, he pressed down hard to drive the point in, and the awl glanced across the tough leather and struck him in one of his eyes. A local physician bound and patched the affected eye and even arranged for Braille to be met the next day in Paris by a highly respected surgeon, but no treatment could save the damaged organ. In agony, the young boy suffered for weeks as the wound became severely infected and the infection spread to his other eye.Louis Braille survived the torment of the infection but by the age of five he was completely blind in both eyes. His devoted parents made great efforts – quite uncommon for the era – to raise their youngest child in a normal fashion, and he prospered in their care. He learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, and he grew up seeminglyat peace with his disability.Braille’s bright and creative mind impressed the local teachers and priests, and he was accommodated with higher education.
Helen AdamsKellerwas(June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968)an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the firstdeaf blindperson to earna Bachelor of Arts degree.The story of how Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the100th anniversary of her birth.A prolific author, Keller was well-travelled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage,laborrights, socialism, and other radical left causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971.Helen Keller was born with the ability to see and hear. At 19 months old, she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness left her both deaf and blind. At that time, she was able to communicate somewhat with Martha Washington,the six-year-old daughter of the family cook, who understood her signs; by the age of seven, Keller had more than 60 home signs to communicate with her family.In 1886, Keller’s mother, inspired by an account in Charles Dickens’ American Notes of the successful education of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, dispatched young Helen, accompanied by her father, to seek out physician J. JulianChisolm, an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist in Baltimore, for advice.Chisholm referred theKellersto Alexander Graham Bell, who was working with deaf children at the time. Bell advised them to contact the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school where Bridgman had been educated, which was then located in South Boston. MichaelAnagnos, the school’s director, asked 20-year-old former student Anne Sullivan, herself visually impaired, to become Keller’s instructor. It was the beginning of a 49-year-long relationship during which Sullivan evolved into Keller’s governess and eventually her companion.
Anne Sullivan arrived at Keller’s house in March 1887, and immediately began to teach Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand, beginning with “d-o-l-l” for the doll that she had brought Keller as a present. Keller was frustrated, at first, because she did not understand that every object had a word uniquely identifying it. In fact, when Sullivan was trying to teach Keller the word for “mug”, Keller became so frustrated she brokethe doll.Keller’s big breakthrough in communication came the next month, when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of “water”; she then nearly exhausted Sullivan demanding the names of all the other familiar objects in her world.