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Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan Macy born Johanna Mansfield Sullivan, (April 14, 1866 - October 20, 1936) was a teacher best known as the tutor of Helen Keller. She is also known as Annie Sullivan.

Anne Sullivan was born in Feeding Hills, a subsection of the town of Agawam, Massachusetts. Her parents, Thomas Sullivan and Alice Clohessy, were impoverished cooks who left Ireland in 1847 during the Potato Famine.

When Anne Sullivan was three she began having trouble with her eyesight. In 1880, she entered the Perkins School for the Blind where she underwent surgery in 1881 and regained some of her sight. After the improvement of her eyesight, and graduating as class valedictorian in 1886, a founder of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, encouraged her to teach Helen Keller. In 1887, Sullivan had an additional surgery which restored more of her vision.

Sullivan moved in with her charge and, acting as governess, began teaching Keller nouns using the sign language alphabet signed into Keller's palm. The first word Helen learned was "doll." Her second word was "water." In 1888, the pair went to the Perkins Institution together, then New York's Wright-Humasen School, then the Cambridge School for Young Ladies, and finally to Radcliffe. Keller graduated from Radcliffe in 1904 and after that, they lived together on a benefactor's farm.

The above information was taken from the Anne Sullivan article on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, based on the GNU Free Documentation License.

Links:

Anne Sullivan Macy: Miracle Worker, a multimedia museum from the American Foundation for the Blind

Resources for young learners:

DVD

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