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The Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness week is always celebrated in June to honour Helen Keller, a blind-deaf American author, political activist, and lecturer. Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree. While you may never have met a deaf-blind person, there are a lot of them in the world, and it’s important to understand them and their unique challenges.

A bit about Helen Keller

Keller was born normal but contracted an unknown disease at 19 months of age. The disease affected her sight and hearing and she steadily lost the ability to communicate clearly with her family. It took the special attention and teaching of Ann Sullivan, who became her lifelong companion until Ann’s death. With Ann’s help, Keller became a notable American figure and an inspiration to many.

Challenges faced by the deaf-blind

Deaf-blind people have a much more limited scope than people who are just blind or just deaf. Their world is shrunk down to what they can feel. The fact that they are called blind-deaf does not mean that they cannot see or hear, most times it is the degree of impairment that dictated the classification. Many of them have very low visibility and very low hearing ability.

This means that the teaching methods used for them depend on each person individually.

Causes of deaf-blindness

Incidents like asphyxiation, head injuries/trauma, meningitis or stroke, can cause a person to become blind-deaf.

Parents who are positive for AIDS, herpes, rubella or syphilis, can infect the children and blind-deafness could be one of the symptoms. Alcohol and drug abuse during pregnancy could also cause deaf-blindness.

How can you help?

First, always treat illness properly. When diseases are left to ravage the body, the side effects could be far-reaching.

If you have someone who is deaf-blind, reach out for proper help. Deaf-blind people are full of untapped potential and need your help to fulfil their amazing destinies.

No one is useless. Ann Sullivan who helped Helen Keller was herself someone with very low vision, but she helped Helen get through University even while her own eyesight suffered. If you need more information on how to help vision with vision challenged, do contact us. Remember, every life counts.