June 27 – July 3 is deaf blind awareness week. For over thirty-five years this week has been set aside to promote awareness and advocacy in the United States. The last week of June was chosen to honor the birth of Helen Keller on June 27th. In a proclamation commemorating the inaugural week in 1984 Ronald Reagan stated the significant purpose, “to encourage public recognition of and compassion for the complex problems caused by deaf-blindness and to emphasize the potential contribution of deaf-blind persons to our nation.” Check out these titles to learn about some of those contributions.
Walk in My Shoes: 27 Inspiring Stories by Charlotte J. DeWitt
Personal accounts by people who became deafblind as a result of Usher syndrome. The writers meet the challenges with courage, persistence, and humor. This book features several of our library patrons.
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
The autobiography of the first deaf-blind graduate of Harvard Law School.
Life at My Fingertips by Robert J. Smithdas
Blind and deaf from the age of five, the author recounts learning to communicate through the sense of touch. A matter-of-face document of the achievements of an indomitable spirit.
Beyond the Double Night by Ken D. Thompson
Biography of James Morrison Heady (born in 1829) who became both blind and deaf, invented the “Talking Glove” and Diplograph embossing typewriter, and advocated for publishing books with raised letters.
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Helen Keller’s account of her triumph over deafness and blindness. One of many biographies of Keller in the library’s collection.
I Can’t See You, I’m Deaf: A Memoir by Woody Livingston
The author recounts his experiences going blind while already completely deaf, including attending college, traveling, playing hockey, and piloting an airplane. Also describes his struggles and the discrimination he faced.
What Is Visible by Kimberly Elkins
A vivid novel based on the astounding true-life story of Laura Bridgman, the first deaf and blind person who learned language. (Biographies of Bridgman include DB051840, BR013353 The Imprisoned Guest: Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman, the Original Deaf-Blind Girl and DB051875, BR013354 The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language)