The name Helen Keller is synonymous with persistence, determination and an indomitable spirit. In "The Story of My Life," the reader gets a glimpse of the highs and lows of the first twenty-two years of Helen's difficult life, Helen having being left blind and deaf after an illness as a baby. She is an inspiration to many people, whether disabled or not, because she exhibits a strength of character that ensures that everyone who hears or reads about her is moved by the extent of her unwavering belief in potential and the need to "learn from life itself" (chapter 7). The fact that Helen Keller recognizes that she can help others, despite her own immense challenges, is testament to her self-awareness and complete selflessness.
Disabled people may have more opportunities than they did at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century (and Helen Keller contributed to that improved perception of disabled people), but they still struggle for acceptance and for independence. Helen Keller proves that anything is possible and her autobiography also reveals that Helen has disappointments and challenges but her attitude is such that giving up is never an option.
As a child, she has fears and experiences such as the storm, the ocean and The Frost King incident, all of which impact her life. Helen says in chapter 14, "No child ever drank deeper of the cup of bitterness than I did." Yet, Helen maintains that such an experience "may have done me good."
She works hard to get to Radcliffe, and never wains in her appreciation for the dedication of Annie Sullivan in helping Helen achieve her dreams. Helen's "fixed purpose" hopefully inspires disabled people to set goals and then try to achieve them, even if those dreams and ambitions need to be amended along the way. Helen certainly proves, that by being open-minded and having aspirations, anything is possible.
Helen received many awards during her lifetime for her dedication to the upliftment of disabled persons, and using her influence, she tirelessly campaigned for the rights of disabled people, helping to transform the environment into a more engaging and promising one for disabled people.