Hellen Keller and her deafness

flip

New Member
In the latest long long CI thread, someone posted a quatation of Helen Keller, where she confessed that deafness was a burden. I was intrigued by this a found more quotes at wikiquote.org. See for yourself below. As I know little about Helen Keller, I wonder:

1. Are they telling us hard facts about deafness?

2. Are they telling us about the fate of Helen Keller, and less deafness in general?

3. Are they misquotations?

"The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus — the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of man."

"Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people."

Helen Keller - Wikiquote

and

"Hearing is the soul of knowledge and information of a high order. To be cut off from hearing is to be isolated indeed."

FAQ: Helen Keller quotes
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
Those are real. If you think about it though, since she didn't really have memory of either sight or hearing, she was repeating back what she had been taught.
 

rockin'robin

Well-Known Member
Those are real. If you think about it though, since she didn't really have memory of either sight or hearing, she was repeating back what she had been taught.
I agree...beautiful and thoughtful quotes from Helen Keller...is making me "wonder"....
 

A

New Member
yes, the quotation is real. My communication have been cutted off growing up. Which is why many of us say we wished people taught us ASL
 

Mrs Bucket

New Member
yes, the quotation is real. My communication have been cutted off growing up. Which is why many of us say we wished people taught us ASL
Clarify how your communication was "cut off" growing up.

How does this apply to Helen Keller and her dual disability?
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
Remeber in those days, education and knowledge about deafness was not like it is today.

Maybe Helen Keller really felt that way because she didn't have contact with the Deaf community and was always in a premodiminately hearing world where language and communication was very dependant on the ears.
 

souggy

New Member
Remeber in those days, education and knowledge about deafness was not like it is today.

Maybe Helen Keller really felt that way because she didn't have contact with the Deaf community and was always in a premodiminately hearing world where language and communication was very dependant on the ears.
Not to mention AG Bell is one of her friends.
 

A

New Member
Clarify how your communication was "cut off" growing up.

How does this apply to Helen Keller and her dual disability?
Read the poem "What it is like to be deaf" That's my version.

Although, I don't know how much Helen Keller know. she probably talked to alot of people and that probably how she came up with that conclusion.. that quote does make sense to those who have communication issues. Remember, in the beginning she had no one to talk to.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
One interesting question that can make you wonder...

If Helen Keller never knew what it is like to be blind with hearing, or deaf with sight, how does she know which one is worse than the other?
 

A

New Member
I think we all know that communication very important. I think her problem is that she thinks we use our ears and mouths to communicate.
 

Secretblend

Well-Known Member
One interesting question that can make you wonder...

If Helen Keller never knew what it is like to be blind with hearing, or deaf with sight, how does she know which one is worse than the other?
As I understand it, one of most important thing to human is being able to socialize with others. Which would prevent human from being social? Deaf or blind?

A blind person with normal hearing can just sit and listen and easily socialize. Deaf cannot.
 

CJB

New Member
Not to mention AG Bell is one of her friends.
Helen Keller was a major oralist. She advocated teaching English and finger spelling it out. She believed the deafblind should go to schools for the blind and have other blind students learn the manual alphabet. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I would shoot myself before finger spelling out English letter by letter. In one of her essays she even complained about everything taking longer cause she could only finger spell/receiving finger spelling. If she knew tactile ASL, would she have been able to obtain a faster speed? :hmm:

On another note, Helen Keller is one deafblind person. Ask 10, or 100, or 1,000 deafblind people which is more limiting, deafness or blindness, and you'll get different answers. Some deafblind people find blindness much more limiting and isolating than deafness.
 
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A

New Member
As I understand it, one of most important thing to human is being able to socialize with others. Which would prevent human from being social? Deaf or blind?

A blind person with normal hearing can just sit and listen and easily socialize. Deaf cannot.
A deaf person can too... if they know ASL
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
As I understand it, one of most important thing to human is being able to socialize with others. Which would prevent human from being social? Deaf or blind?

A blind person with normal hearing can just sit and listen and easily socialize. Deaf cannot.
In an ASL environment, a deaf person can.
 

Secretblend

Well-Known Member
A deaf person can too... if they know ASL
True.

However I was speaking in everyday life with family and friends and work.

Also how often would you say that deafs had others to communicate with in the past?

I'm sure today is one of best times for deafs in being able to communicate with other deafs. I doubt it was like that in general before 1900's.
 
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A

New Member
Helen Keller was a major oralist. She advocated teaching English and finger spelling it out. She believed the deafblind should go to schools for the blind and have other blind students learn the manual alphabet. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I would shoot myself before finger spelling out English letter by letter. In one of her essays she even complained about everything taking longer cause she could only finger spell/receiving finger spelling at 80WPM. If she knew tactile ASL, would she have been able to obtain a faster speed? :hmm:
Why is that people think the harder the work, the better it is?
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
Helen Keller was a major oralist. She advocated teaching English and finger spelling it out. She believed the deafblind should go to schools for the blind and have other blind students learn the manual alphabet. Now I don't know about anyone else, but I would shoot myself before finger spelling out English letter by letter. In one of her essays she even complained about everything taking longer cause she could only finger spell/receiving finger spelling at 80WPM. If she knew tactile ASL, would she have been able to obtain a faster speed? :hmm:
Laura Bridgman finger spelled every word at lightning speed also. And Bridgman lived far before the Milan conference.

I think that her receptive finger spelling was just as fast as tactile sign. ASL didn't exist at that time either, although I am being picky. It was known as manual English.
 

CJB

New Member
Why is that people think the harder the work, the better it is?
I can sign and finger spell the same phrase or concept and signing it takes a fraction of the time. For me it's just a question of speed. Having signs that represent words and phrases is bound to be more efficient than having signs that represent letters. Even if Helen Keller and Laura Bridgman achieved lightning speed, how fast could other people finger spell to them?
 
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