Happy 138th Birthday, Helen!

As a birthday wish for Helen, please share your wish for access and inclusion for people with disabilities in the comment section below!

  A photograph of Helen Keller appears on one of 51 lighthouse sculptures that are part of Lighthouses on The Mag Mile celebrating access and inclusion for people with disabilities. This piece is titled "Lovely Helen" by artist Jennifer Hiser of 4Everly Adorned.

A photograph of Helen Keller appears on one of 51 lighthouse sculptures that are part of Lighthouses on The Mag Mile celebrating access and inclusion for people with disabilities. This piece is titled "Lovely Helen" by artist Jennifer Hiser of 4Everly Adorned.

She was literally the very first beacon who championed the causes of access and inclusion for people with disabilities.

Today (June 27) marks what would have been the 138th birthday of Helen Keller, respected around the world as an educator, journalist, humanitarian and tireless advocate for the disabled community.  This year also marks the 50th anniversary (1968) of her passing.

Though both deaf and blind, Ms. Keller never let her disabilities deter her from pursuing her dreams and living a full and rich life. In the process, she inspired millions around the world.

  In her lifetime, Helen Keller never let any obstacles stop her from being a crusader for people with disabilities. 

In her lifetime, Helen Keller never let any obstacles stop her from being a crusader for people with disabilities. 

The Chicago Lighthouse is very proud to have an association with Ms. Keller.  Back in 1955, she helped dedicate our headquarters building at 1850 W. Roosevelt Road on Chicago’s near west side.  On that historic occasion, which had the Governor of Illinois and Mayor of Chicago in attendance, she also dedicated The Lighthouse’s low vision clinic, one of the oldest and most respected in the United States.

“There were about 400 people there who gave her a standing ovation…tears were flowing because it was just a memorable event,” says an individual of Helen Keller’s speech during her visit to The Chicago Lighthouse in 1955.

  A plaque on a wall in The Chicago Lighthouse commemorates Helen Keller's visit and dedication to the facility in 1955. 

A plaque on a wall in The Chicago Lighthouse commemorates Helen Keller's visit and dedication to the facility in 1955. 

It is fitting that Ms. Keller’s birthday coincides with the running of our world-class Lighthouses on The Mag Mile Public Art Display, which celebrates access and inclusion for people with disabilities.  Throughout her life, she embodied all the values that the beautiful lighthouse sculptures represent. 

  Helen Keller embraced life to the fullest. She traveled throughout the world and was active in many communities. This quote is painted on another lighthouse sculpture as part of Lighthouses on The Mag Mile celebrating access and inclusion for people with disabilities. This lighthouse is by artist Carrie Carlson. 

Helen Keller embraced life to the fullest. She traveled throughout the world and was active in many communities. This quote is painted on another lighthouse sculpture as part of Lighthouses on The Mag Mile celebrating access and inclusion for people with disabilities. This lighthouse is by artist Carrie Carlson. 

We invite you, your family, friends and colleagues to visit all the lighthouses that are on display through August 11. 

As you view these stunning works of art, ask yourselves, as Helen Keller would, “what can I do in my own special way to promote access and inclusion for our fellow Americans with disabilities?” 

Be a beacon just like Ms. Keller was!  As she herself acknowledged in one of her most memorable quotes that is actually imprinted on one of the lighthouse sculptures: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” 

As a birthday wish for Helen, please post your wish for access and inclusion for people with disabilities below. 

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To share your wish, click on the blog article to activate the comment box and write your wish.

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