Special Collections

Deaf-Blind Special Collection

Description: A collection featuring biographies, fiction and non-fiction by and about members of the deaf-blind community. For books by and about members of the deaf community, visit: https://www.bookshare.org/browse/collection/249852


Showing 1 through 25 of 73 results
 

The Miracle Worker

by William Gibson

NO ONE COULD REACH HER Twelve-year-old Helen Keller lived in a prison of silence and darkness. Born deaf, blind, and mute, with no way to express herself or comprehend those around her, she flew into primal rages against anyone who tried to help her, fighting tooth and nail with a strength born of furious, unknowing desperation. Then Annie Sullivan came. Half-blind herself, but possessing an almost fanatical determination, she would begin a frightening and incredibly moving struggle to tame the wild girl no one could reach, and bring Helen into the world at last....

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

The Song of the Stone Wall

by Helen Keller

An unrhymed poem, fashioned from traditional style, first published in 1910 in which a rough, enduring old stone wall, that winds over hill and meadow, becomes a symbol of New England history. Its importance lies in the meaning it held for Helen Keller, and the strength she gained from its existence.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

The Education Of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf And Blind Person To Learn Language

by Ernest Freeberg

In the mid-nineteenth century, Laura Bridgman, a young child from New Hampshire, became one of the most famous women in the world. Philosophers, theologians, and educators hailed her as a miracle, and a vast public followed the intimate details of her life with rapt attention. This girl, all but forgotten today, was the first deaf and blind person ever to learn language. Laura's dark and silent life was transformed when she became the star pupil of the educational crusader Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. Against the backdrop of an antebellum Boston seething with debates about human nature, programs of moral and educational reform, and battles between conservative and liberal Christians, Freeberg tells this extraordinary tale of mentor and student, scientist and experiment. Under Howe's constant tutelage, Laura voraciously absorbed the world around her, learning to communicate through finger language, as well as to write with confidence. Her remarkable breakthroughs vindicated Howe's faith in the power of education to overcome the most terrible of disabilities. In Howe's hands, Laura's education became an experiment that he hoped would prove his own controversial ideas about the body, mind, and soul. Poignant and hopeful, The Education of Laura Bridgman is both a success story of how a sightless and soundless girl gained contact with an ever-widening world, and also a cautionary tale about the way moral crusades and scientific progress can compromise each other. Anticipating the life of Helen Keller a half-century later, Laura's is a pioneering story of the journey from isolation to accomplishment, as well as a window onto what it means to be human under the most trying conditions.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Breaking the Silence

by Jo Milne

Imagine for a moment that you have never heard the voices of those you love, the music on the radio, the sound of birdsong at dawn nor the persistent passing traffic on the road you walk down. Now imagine that the lips that you have watched moving, the faces that you have smiled at, the words that you read in front of you all slowly start to disappear too. It's hard to comprehend isn't it?

Jo Milne had already lived a lifetime surrounded by silence, profoundly deaf from birth, when she began to lose her sight. Just before turning thirty, Jo was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a rare genetic and progressive condition that will one day rob her of her sight altogether. Although at this lowest ebb, Jo suffered from deep depression, she has always been determined to live her life to the full. Jo has never let her disabilities affect the way she embraces life however there was always so much that she was missing. In 2014 she made a life-changing decision to undergo major surgery. She had cochlear implants fitted allowing her to hear for the first time.

Every moment of Jo's days since the operation has become a journey of discovery. She has been able to hear the voice of her own mother who has stood by her and helped her through some of her darkest moments. She has heard birds sing, people chatting and the sound of children laughing. She is embarking on an incredible journey through four missed generations of music - from the hymns she missed in school assembly to sweeping orchestral performances, from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to the music of this very moment and everything in between.

Breaking the Silence is a remarkable and beautifully written memoir that will serve as an inspiration to everyone who reads it. By turns, heart-breaking and heart-warming, it is the incredibly uplifting life-story of a woman who refused to give up hope and always lives life with a smile upon her face.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Invisible: My Journey through Vision and Hearing Loss (2nd Edition)

by Ruth Silver

Ruth Silver's young life was challenged with vision and hearing loss. Inspired by her own experiences and challenges, she founded the Center for Deaf-Blind Persons in Milwaukee, a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping others living with the double disability of deaf-blindness. Ruth's story demonstrates how a resilient spirit can propel a profoundly disabled person forward toward a happy, productive life.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Not Fade Away

by Rebecca Alexander and Sascha Alper

Even a darkening world can be brilliantly lit from within.

Born with a rare genetic mutation called Usher Syndrome type III, Rebecca Alexander has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a child, and was told that she would likely be completely blind and deaf by age 30. Then, at 18, a fall from a window left her athletic body completely shattered.

None of us know what we would do in the face of such devastation. What Rebecca did was rise to every challenge she faced. She was losing her vision and hearing and her body was broken, but she refused to lose her drive, her zest for life and - maybe most importantly - her sense of humor. Now, at 35, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, she is a psychotherapist with two masters' degrees from Columbia University, and an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. She greets every day as if it were a gift, with boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places we can't imagine.

In Not Fade Away, Rebecca tells her extraordinary story, by turns harrowing, funny and inspiring. She meditates on what she's lost--from the sound of a whisper to seeing a sky full of stars, and what she's found in return--an exquisite sense of intimacy with those she is closest to, a love of silence, a profound gratitude for everything she still has, and a joy in simple pleasures that most of us forget to notice.

Not Fade Away is both a memoir of the senses and a unique look at the obstacles we all face--physical, psychological, and philosophical--exploring the extraordinary powers of memory, love, and perseverance. It is a gripping story, an offering of hope and motivation, and an exquisite reminder to live each day to its fullest.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

My Maggie

by Richard King

My Maggie is a rare and real love story. Rich and Maggie King were two people who never gave up on each other-a testament to a love few have the will to attain.

She was his childhood sweetheart and wife of thirty-two years. Diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of four, she wore cumbersome hearing aids and felt the humiliation of being "different." Slowly, an insidious disease robbed her of her vision. She fought three different cancers, changed careers in the middle of her life, and fought to realize her dreams. Yet, underneath these great challenges, there was an incredible love shared by two people. It was cemented by adversity and reached a near perfect spiritual connection. They lived a classic old- fashioned love story.

King shares one of the most powerful, complex, and memorable love stories ever written. It is an American story of great heroism, courage, and devotion. Maggie was a woman who understood how to lead a happy life and led it, in spite of the challenges placed in front of her. My Maggie is great drama, great passion, and great fun. It is a book written with a love so immense it almost defies description.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Through the Rain and Rainbow

by Lyle M. Crist

Richard Kenny lost his sight at age seven. He spent his childhood adjusting to and overcoming blindness. He entered college but had to drop out in his second year when his hearing failed.

The next ten years contained motes of both great anguish and sweet victory as he adjusted to being totally deaf-blind. With perseverance, the support of family and friends, and the counsel of such leaders as Helen Keller and other workers for the deaf and blind, Kenny became the third deaf-blind person in history to earn a college degree. He married, became a father, traveled and wrote.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

My Religion

by Helen Keller

Here is a mind kept singularly pure from childhood; here is a religious experience unhampered by the blindness of any sectarianism; here is a spiritual insight, a gift of perception, undulled by absorption in the things of sense life. Here is one in whom the Lord worked a miracle, and Helen Keller declares to us "One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see."

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Helen Keller (Rebel Lives)

by Helen Keller and John Davis

A different portrayal of Keller, who is usually remembered for her work aiding blind and deaf-blind people.

Deaf and blind herself from the age of 19 months, Keller did indeed devote her adult life to helping those similarly afflicted - she was also a crusading Socialist, championing the poor and oppressed from all walks of life and leading a fight against the less obvious evil of social blindness.

John Davis has collected her political writing and speeches, including her arguments for women's suffrage, her opposition to the world wars and support for Eugene V. Debs.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

God Knows His Name: The True Story of John Doe No. 24

by Dave Bakke

Police found John Doe No. 24 in the early morning hours of October 11, 1945, in Jacksonville, Illinois. Unable to communicate, the deaf and mute teenager was labeled "feeble minded" and sentenced by a judge to the nightmarish jumble of the Lincoln State School and Colony in Lincoln. He remained in the Illinois mental health care system for over thirty years and died at the Sharon Oaks Nursing Home in Peoria on November 28, 1993.

The young black man, who later became blind, survived institutionalized hell: beatings, hunger, overcrowding, and the dehumanizing treatment that characterized state institutions through the 1950s. In spite of his environment, he made friends, took on responsibilities, and developed a sense of humor. People who knew him found him remarkable.

Award-winning journalist Dave Bakke reconstructs the life of John Doe No. 24 through research into a half-century of the state mental health system, personal interviews with people who knew him at various points during his life.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Beyond the Miracle Worker

by Kim E. Nielsen

After many years, historian and Helen Keller expert Kim Nielsen realized that she, along with other historians and biographers, had failed Anne Sullivan Macy. While Macy is remembered primarily as Helen Keller's teacher and mythologized as a straightforward educational superhero, the real story of this brilliant, complex, and misunderstood woman, who described herself as a "badly constructed human being," has never been completely told.

Beyond the Miracle Worker, the first biography of Macy in nearly fifty years, complicates the typical Helen-Annie "feel good" narrative in surprising ways. By telling the life from Macy's perspective-not Keller's-the biography is the first to put Macy squarely at the center of the story. It presents a new and fascinating tale about a wounded but determined woman and her quest for a successful, meaningful life.

Born in 1866 to poverty-stricken Irish immigrants, the parentless and deserted Macy suffered part of her childhood in the Massachusetts State Almshouse at Tewksbury. Seeking escape, in love with literature, and profoundly stubborn, she successfully fought to gain an education at the Perkins School for the Blind. As an adult, Macy taught Keller, helping the girl realize her immense potential, and Macy's intimate friendship with Keller remained powerful throughout their lives.

Yet as Macy floundered with her own blindness, ill health, and depression, as well as a tumultuous and triangulated marriage, she came to lean on her former student, emotionally, physically, and economically. Based on privately held primary source material, including materials at both the American Foundation for the Blind and the Perkins School for the Blind, Beyond the Miracle Worker is revelatory and absorbing, unraveling one of the best known-and least understood-friendships of the twentieth century.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School

by Bruce Atchison

Imagine being a disabled child, hastily sent to a boarding school hundreds of miles from home, and being kept there for months at a time. This was the fate of most physically and mentally impaired students half a century ago. Intellectuals and government officials once believed that the best way to educate “handicapped youngsters” was to segregate them from the able-bodied population, concentrating those pupils into large institutions.

Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School is the story of Bruce Atchison, one such child. Shuttled between a dysfunctional family and an uncaring asylum, his feelings and experiences are related here in a candid fashion. Through his partially-sighted eyes, readers are given a glimpse beyond the manicured lawns and impressive facades into the daily life of Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind.

The author describes how he and his classmates learned Braille, used an abacus for arithmetic, and played sports, educational aspects which are not generally known to the public. Apart from those differences, school life was basically the same as in other institutes. Jericho had its bullies, its cliques, its out-of-touch administrators, and its deplorable food.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Blind Rage: Letters to Helen Keller

by Georgina Kleege

The author writes letters to the late Helen Keller to explore different aspects of her life.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Optimism, and Strike Against War

by Helen Keller

An essay on optimism by the famous author, activist, and lecturer, as well as a speech called Strike Against War that she gave at Carnegie Hall in New York City on January 5, 1916 in opposition to World War I.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

The Story of My Life

by Helen Keller

An American classic rediscovered by each generation, The Story of My Life is Helen Keller's account of her triumph over deafness and blindness. Popularized by the stage play and movie The Miracle Worker, Keller's story has become a symbol of hope for people all over the world.

This book-published when Keller was only twenty-two-portrays the wild child who is locked in the dark and silent prison of her own body. With an extraordinary immediacy, Keller reveals her frustrations and rage, and takes the reader on the unforgettable journey of her education and breakthroughs into the world of communication.

From the moment Keller recognizes the word "water" when her teacher finger-spells the letters, we share her triumph as "that living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!" An unparalleled chronicle of courage, The Story of My Life remains startlingly fresh and vital more than a century after its first publication, a timeless testament to an indomitable will.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

And The Journey Begins

by Cyril Axelrod

This life story of deafblind priest, Father Cyril Axelrod, makes compelling reading. A man of such spirituality, humanity, gentleness, compassion, humour, leadership and vision, he has worked tirelessly for others throughout his life and has become a worldwide ambassador for deaf and deafblind people.

He gives a remarkably poignant and tender account of his childhood as the profoundly Deaf child of an orthodox Jewish family in South Africa. He describes the wrenching spiritual journey that follows in his twenties and led him eventually to become a Catholic priest in order to serve deaf people. He tells too of his own painful transition from deafness to deafblindess as his sight deteriorates in middle age as a result of Usher syndrome.

Despite this, his remarkable pastoral work continues, using over eight different indigenous sign languages, in countries as varied as South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Australia, USA, China, Singapore, Macau, Ireland, and finally Britain. His work and his love for deaf and deafblind people transcends colour, creed and faith and has been recognised throughout the world.

This is the story of a remarkable man.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

The Imprisoned Guest: Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman, the Original Deaf-Blind Girl

by Elisabeth Gitter

Did you ever wonder what inspired Helen Keller's mother to have such high hopes for her daughter? The answer is Laura Bridgman, the original deaf-blind girl who inspired Charles Darwin to visit her and also write about her in American Notes.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Walking Free: The Nellie Zimmerman Story

by Rosezelle Boggs-Qualls and Darryl C. Greene

Biography of a deaf-blind woman who spent 18 years isolated in a mental hospital before gaining her freedom, earning a college degree and working as a social worker in northeast Ohio. The co-authors are a deaf social worker and blind pastor.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Words in My Hands: A Teacher, A Deaf-Blind Man, An Unforgettable Journey

by Diane Chambers

Bert Riedel, an 86-year-old deaf-blind pianist, cut off from the world since age 45, discovers a new life through hand-over-hand sign, taught to him by the author.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

On Different Roads : An Autobiography

by Geraldine Lawhorn

A true story of an incredible woman who was not about to be held back by the challenges of becoming blind and deaf before she completed high school. Not only does Geraldine Lawhorn live a full life, but she also continues to help others.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Helen Keller: A Life

by Dorothy Herrmann

A comprehensive biography of Helen Keller, focusing not only on her disabilities and challenges and how she overcame them or made them moot, but also on her relationships, her work with other challenged and inspirational people, her involvement in the arts as subject and as participant, and her political beliefs and actions.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Biography / Autobiography

Signs of Resistance

by Paul K. Longmore and Lauri Umansky and Susan Burch

During the early nineteenth century, American schools for deaf education regarded sign language as the "natural language" of deaf people, using it as the principal mode of instruction and communication. These schools inadvertently became the seedbeds of an emerging Deaf community and culture. But by mid-century, an oralist movement developed that sought to suppress sign language, removing Deaf teachers and requiring deaf people to learn speech and lip reading. Historians have all assumed that in the early decades of the twentieth century oralism triumphed overwhelmingly.

Susan Burch shows us that everyone has it wrong; Deaf students, teachers, and staff consistently and creatively subverted oralist policies and goals within the schools. Ultimately, the efforts to assimilate Deaf people resulted in fortifying their ties to a separate Deaf cultural community.

In Signs of Resistance, Susan Burch persuasively reinterprets early twentieth century Deaf history. Using community sources such as Deaf newspapers, memoirs, films, and oral (sign language) interviews, Burch shows how the Deaf community mobilized to defend sign language, increased its political activism, and clarified its cultural values. In the process, a collective Deaf consciousness, identity, and political organization were formed.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Culture

Vintage Sacks

by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks' empathetic understanding and compelling storytelling ability have turned his accounts of his patients and his own life into literature, as evidenced in "Uncle Tungsten," "Stinks and Bangs," and "Cannery Row" from Uncle Tungsten; the Foreword and "Rose R." from Awakenings; "A Deaf World" from Seeing Voices; and excerpts from "Island Hopping" and "Pingelap" from The Island of the Colorblind.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Culture

Crying Hands: Eugenics and Deaf People in Nazi Germany

by Horst Biesold and Williams Sayers

Exposes the active collusion with the Nazis of various physicians, administrators, and teachers of the deaf who embraced the Third Reich's eugenics policies. Documents the collusion of deaf leaders, who tried to incorporate all independent deaf groups into one Nazi organization while expelling deaf Jews, and traces resistance against the Third Reich by deaf Germans. Includes personal accounts of some of the 1,215 deaf victims of enforced sterilization, demonstrating the lasting physical and emotional pain of Nazi violations. The author is a retired professor and teacher of deaf students.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Culture


Showing 1 through 25 of 73 results