|Born||July 3, 1886 |
|Died||October 11, 1945 (aged 59)|
Thomas Stringer (July 3, 1886 –October 11, 1945) was an American carpenter. Deafblind from a young age, Stringer was brought to the Perkins Institution for the Blind through the fundraising of Helen Keller. He was well-regarded at the school for his carpentry skills, which he used to help support himself after graduating from Perkins in 1913.
Thomas Stringer was born on July 3, 1886, in Washington, Pennsylvania.He became blind and deaf after being infected with spinal meningitis at age two or three. His mother died soon after his illness, and his father placed him in a hospital in Allegheny. He was confined to a bed and seemed destined to live in a series of almshouses.
Stringer's plight came to the attention of ten-year-old Helen Keller, who was determined to bring Tommy to the Perkins Institution for the Blind.Keller used creative means to raise tuition for Stringer to attend Perkins: when her dog Lioness was killed by a policeman, her letter to a benefactor recounting the tragedy was published widely, which led to people sending in donations to purchase her another dog. Instead, Helen donated the money to a fund established by Perkins director Michael Anagnos to support Stringer.
Stringer was brought to the Kindergarten for the Blind at Jamaica Plain in Boston. In April 1891, at four years and nine months old, he was brought to the Perkins Institution.After learning to walk, dress, and feed himself, Stringer was taught to recognize words fingerspelled into his hand. The first word he recognized, in November 1891, was bread.
His reading and talking were conducted through fingerspelling, but his instructors insisted on Stringer learning to read from the lips and to articulate speech, requiring a spoken sentence practiced each morning.Arithmetic was his strongest subject in school; his handwriting was described as "firm, neat and legible." In the 1890s he was instructed by Gustaf Larsson in sloyd, a system of handicraft-based education. His summers were spent at Wrentham, Massachusetts, at the farmhouse of Reverend William L. Brown.
In 1900, at age thirteen, he was admitted to Lowell Grammar School in Roxbury as a sixth grader.He learned alongside his classmates with the assistance of his teacher and interpreter, Helen S. Conley; Stringer graduated from the grammar school in 1903.
By age fifteen he was installing shelves and steps at the Perkins kindergarten; he was called upon to replace worn window-cords and replace broken locks.At the house and farm where he spent his summers, he constructed a railing on a set of stairs and secured a gas pipe in the barn to ensure the cats who lived there would be safe. Stringer traveled through the northeast United States, visiting the Philadelphia Mint and being received by President William McKinley in the White House.
Stringer spent twenty years at Perkins, graduating in 1913.After graduating, he moved in with a guardian, Lee Edgarton, a grocer in Fulton, New York. The fund that Anagnos set up for Stringer provided a $1,000 per year stipend for his income, as well as a workbench and a tandem bicycle he could ride with a seeing companion. He also earned money making vegetable crates for local farmers. Stringer died at age fifty-nine on October 11, 1945.
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and hearing after a bout of illness at the age of nineteen months. She then communicated primarily using home signs until the age of seven when she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan, who taught her language, including reading and writing; Sullivan's first lessons involved spelling words on Keller's hand to show her the names of objects around her. She also learned how to speak and to understand other people's speech using the Tadoma method. After an education at both specialist and mainstream schools, she attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University and became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She worked for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) from 1924 until 1968, during which time she toured the United States and traveled to 35 countries around the globe advocating for those with vision loss.
Anne Sullivan Macy was an American teacher best known for being the instructor and lifelong companion of Helen Keller.
Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts, was founded in 1829 and is the oldest school for the blind in the United States. It has also been known as the Perkins Institution for the Blind.
Deafblindness is the condition of little or no useful hearing and little or no useful sight. Different degrees of vision loss and auditory loss occur within each individual, thus making the deafblind community unique with many types of deafblindness involved. Because of this inherent diversity, each deafblind individual's needs regarding lifestyle, communication, education, and work need to be addressed based on their degree of dual-modality deprivation, to improve their ability to live independently. In 1994, an estimated 35,000–40,000 United States residents were medically deafblind. Helen Keller was a well-known example of a deafblind individual. To further her lifelong mission to help the deafblind community to expand its horizons and gain opportunities, the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, with a residential training program in Sands Point, New York, was established in 1967 by an act of Congress.
Laura Dewey Lynn Bridgman is known as the first deaf-blind American child to gain a significant education in the English language, fifty years before the more famous Helen Keller. Bridgman was left deaf-blind at the age of two after contracting scarlet fever. She was educated at the Perkins Institution for the Blind where, under the direction of Samuel Gridley Howe, she learned to read and communicate using Braille and the manual alphabet developed by Charles-Michel de l'Épée.
Alice Mary Betteridge Chapman was an Australian woman known as the first deafblind child to be educated in the country.
"The Frost King" is a short story about King Jack Frost written by Helen Keller, then 11. Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, had mentioned that the autumn leaves were "painted ruby, emerald, gold, crimson, and brown," and Keller, by her own account, imagined fairies doing the work. Keller wrote a story about how a cask of jewels, being transported by fairy servants, had melted in the sun and covered the leaves.
The California School for the Blind is a public educational institution for blind children, K-12, located in Fremont, California. Its campus is located next to the California School for the Deaf.
The Miracle Worker is a 1962 American biographical film about Anne Sullivan, blind tutor to Helen Keller, directed by Arthur Penn. The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 play of the same title, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90. Gibson's secondary source material was The Story of My Life, the 1903 autobiography of Helen Keller.
The Miracle Worker is a three-act play by William Gibson adapted from his 1957 Playhouse 90 teleplay of the same name. It was based on Helen Keller's 1903 autobiography The Story of My Life.
Chan Poh Lin, better known as Theresa Poh Lin Chan, was a Singaporean writer and teacher. Born in Singapore, she was known in her youth as "the Helen Keller of Southeast Asia", as, like Keller, Chan was a highly accomplished deaf and blind person. Chan has been deaf since age 12, and deafblind since age 14.
Sophia Kindrick Alcorn was an educator who invented the Tadoma method of communication with people who are deaf and blind. She advocated for the rights of people with disabilities and upon retiring from her long career in teaching, she worked with the American Foundation for the Blind.
The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) is a school for people with blindness and/or deafness operated by the U.S. state of Alabama in the city of Talladega. The current institution includes the Alabama School for the Deaf, the Alabama School for the Blind, and the Helen Keller School, named for Alabamian Helen Keller, which serves children who are both deaf and blind. The E. H. Gentry Technical Facility provides vocational training for older students, and the institution offers employment to graduates through its Alabama Industries for the Blind workshops in Talladega and Birmingham. The AIDB has regional centers in Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Mobile, Dothan, Auburn, and Tuscumbia. The AIDB currently serves nearly 24,500 residents from all 67 counties of the state.
The Miracle Worker is a 1979 American made-for-television biographical film based on the 1959 play of the same title by William Gibson, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90. Gibson's original source material was The Story of My Life, the 1903 autobiography of Helen Keller. The play was adapted for the screen before, in 1962.
Aslaug Haviland, known as "Utah's Helen Keller" was a deaf and blind Norwegian woman who came to the United States at the age of 16 to attend the Perkins Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. She became a nationally renowned motivational speaker.
Joseph Edgar "J. E." or "Ed" Chamberlin was an American journalist, columnist, essayist, and editor whose work appeared in newspapers in Chicago, Boston, and New York, as well as in national magazines and journals, beginning in 1871 and continuing until his death in 1935. Beginning in the late 1880s, he wrote a popular column for the Boston Evening Transcript called "The Listener" and thus became known throughout New England as "The Listener of the Transcript." He was a friend and mentor to many aspiring writers, photographers, musicians, and artists, and maintained a close friendship with Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan for over 40 years. He died in South Hanson, Massachusetts in 1935 and is buried in his birthplace of Newbury, Vermont.
Lydia Young Hayes was an American educator, and the first director of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind.
Michael Anagnos was a trustee and later second director of the Perkins School for the Blind. He was an author, educator, and human rights activist. Anagnos is well known for his work with Helen Keller.
Annetta Thompson Mills (1853-1929) was a Presbyterian missionary and educator of the Deaf in China. She founded the first known formal school for the Deaf in China in 1887, the Chefoo School for the Deaf, which eventually became the Yantai Deaf Centre School. Adapting the Lyon Phonetic Manual’s fingerspelling system to represent phonetic forms of Chinese characters, in 1908 Mills published what is understood as the first Chinese fingerspelling textbook.
Julia Romana Howe Anagnos was an American poet, daughter of Samuel Gridley Howe and Julia Ward Howe.