Who was Anne Sullivan?
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Anne Sullivan [right] fingerspelling to 13 year old, Helen Keller in 1893.

"My heart is singing for joy this morning! A miracle has happened! The light of understanding has shone upon my little pupil's mind, and behold, all things are changed! "
Anne Sullivan (1866 - 1936)

 
Anne Sullivan Communication Center (ASCC) was named in honor of Anne Mansfield Sullivan Macy.  She was a noted teacher, translator, and friend of Helen Keller.  Anne's struggles to first communicate with young Helen, who was both deaf and blind, were documented in the award-winning play and movie, The Miracle Worker.

Communication is Key

Anne taught Helen to communicate using a manual alphabet (also called fingerspelling).

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Helen Keller [left] listens to Anne Sullivan Macy [right] in 1924.
The "speaker" fingerspells into Helen's hand, and Helen "listens" to the letters and words by feeling them with her hand.

All of Helen's conversations were fingerspelled, and she later learned to use her voice, too. She never learned a sign language, such as American Sign Language (ASL). Instead, she spelled each word in English word order.

Anne was herself partly blind, and taught Helen to read and write using Braille and other tactile writing systems.

Anne and Helen enjoyed a life-long friendship.

Learn More!

There are many books and web sites where you can find more information about these two famous women.