[nfbmi-talk] Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind

Larry Posont president.nfb.mi at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 00:42:33 UTC 2014

National Federation of the Blind of Michigan
7189 Connors Rd.
Munising, MI 49862

April 21, 2014

Dear Michigan Federationists:

     Here is some information you may wish to read.

Larry Posont
 National Federation of the Blind of Michigan
 (906) 387-3546
Email: president.nfb.mi at gmail.com
 Web page: www.nfbmi.org

Munising home of the beautiful Pictured Rocks.

Please help us spread the word about this fully accessible educational
exhibit coming to AADL!

Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education
for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired
Friday May 2 through Wednesday, June 25, 2014 -- Downtown Library
Lobby And 3rd Floor

AADL is pleased to be bringing to you, Child in a Strange Country:
Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or
Visually Impaired, a new traveling exhibit from the Museum of the
American Printing House for the Blind exploring the human ingenuity
expressed by generations of teachers and students.

There will be an opening reception for the public at the Downtown
Library on Friday, May 2 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, and there will also be
related events throughout May and June at the Downtown Library.

In 1891, teacher Anne Sullivan wrote a report about her famous young
student, Helen Keller, an Alabama girl who lost her hearing and sight
at an early age. "For the first two years of her intellectual life she
was like a child in a strange country," wrote Sullivan, realizing that
for her student, no learning was possible until she could overcome the
communication barrier posed by blindness and deafness. Eventually,
however, Keller became the first deaf-blind woman in America to earn
her undergraduate degree, graduating from Radcliffe in 1904.

This was made possible by a number of educational tools developed in
Europe and the United States since the late eighteenth century,
beginning with Valentin Hauy's invention of the tactile book in 1786
in Paris, France. Hauy's book featured raised letters, and helped
prove that blind people could learn to read. Louis Braille's dot code,
introduced in 1829, allowed students to both read and write.

"Child in a Strange Country" explores four primary subjects: Reading,
Science, Math, and Geography. Using Helen Keller's educational journey
as a lens, the exhibit uses tactile reproductions and authentic
artifacts to uncover the roots of modern education for children with
vision loss.

The exhibit is designed to be fully accessible. Each section includes
six panels mounted with tactile reproductions or touchable examples of
real artifacts. Each concludes with a sit-down touch table with
interactive games and activities which spur the sensory imagination.
Labels are available in large-print, braille, and audio versions
recorded in the APH studios on Frankfort Avenue.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

* Thirty-four artifacts, including a "washboard" slate used to write
braille, similar to models developed by Louis Braille himself, and a
giant thirty inch diameter relief model of the Earth.
* Fourteen tactile reproductions, including a page from Valentin
Hauy's original raised letter book and tactile maps by Martin Kunz and
Harald Thilander.
* Thirty text and artifact panels with over fifty-three historic
photographs, including ten images of Helen Keller.
* Four touch tables, with activities ranging from writing braille to
performing math problems on both a tactile abacus and a talking



Terry Soave | 734/327-8327 | soavet at aadl.org
Manager of Outreach & Neighborhood Services

Ann Arbor District Library | 734/327-4200 | aadl.org
Washtenaw Library for the Blind & Physically Disabled
734/327-4224 | wlbpd at aadl.org | wlbpd.aadl.org
343 S. Fifth Ave. | Ann Arbor | MI | 41803

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