Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She developed a fever at 18 months which left her permanently blind and deaf. Through the extraordinary tutelage of her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, Helen was taught sign language and Braille. In 1904 she graduated from Radcliffe, the first deaf/blind person to receive a college degree in the United States.
She was a tireless advocate for people with disabilities. In 1925, she attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.” The Lions accepted her challenge and have become internationally recognized for their sight programs, which include recycling eye glasses, supporting the Lions Eye Banks that provide eye tissue for sight-saving surgeries, vision screening for hundreds of thousands of people every year, and preventing blindness by providing treatment to those at risk of losing their vision.