The International Impact of Helen Keller

Helen traveled internationally advocating for the rights and improving the quality of life for the hearing impaired and the visually impaired. She also advocated for women’s right to vote, and worker’s rights and was an opponent of child labor.

When she became an adult, she worked to advocate for programs for the prevention of blindness, laws for the education and protection of the blind and deafblind and state-assisted programs to help people with disabilities with job training and placement. She traveled to 39 different countries in an effort to persuade foreign governments to establish schools for people who were blind and deaf. Many did take the advice and those schools helped millions.

In 1948 Helen was sent to Japan as a Goodwill Ambassador by General Douglas MacArthur. She was working to spread awareness to the plight of Japan’s blind and disabled population. 

During her lifetime, Keller met every U.S. president, beginning with Grover Cleveland and ending with John F. Kennedy. In 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian honor.