Memo's from Sophia Nicholls, Executive Secretary of ASNA.


A Women with impact: Celebrating International Women's Day (IWD)

Updated: Mar 8

International Women's day is here. In celebration I'll share with you some facts about a wonderful woman who had the gift of strength and tenacity.

Pablo Picasso said 'The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." Helen Keller found and gave her gift away to so many.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller is known the world over as a symbol of courage in the face of overwhelming odds. Yet she was so much more. A woman of luminous intelligence, high ambition and great accomplishment, she was driven by her deep compassion for others to devote her life to helping them overcome significant obstacles to living healthy and productive lives.

1880: On June 27, Helen Keller is born in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

1882: Following a bout of illness, Helen loses her sight and hearing.

1887: Helen’s parents hire Anne Sullivan, a graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind, to be Helen’s tutor. Anne begins by teaching Helen that objects have names and that she can use her fingers to spell them. Over time, Helen learns to communicate via sign language, to read and write in Braille, to touch-lip read, and to speak.

1900: After attending schools in Boston and New York, Helen matriculates at Radcliffe College.

1903: Helen’s first book, an autobiography called The Story of My Life, is published.

1904: Helen graduates cum laude from Radcliffe, becoming the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

1915: Helen, already a vocal advocate for people with disabilities, co-founds the American Foundation for Overseas Blind to support World War I veterans blinded in combat. This organisation later becomes Helen Keller International and expands its mission to address the causes and consequences of blindness, malnutrition and poor health.


Having a son born with a rare genetic disorder, blind, with severe learning disabilities, I have been inspired by the life of Helen Keller a role model for so many people who are also blind. Her tenacity and strength through her challenges has left us a wonderful legacy of an impactful woman.

At her funeral, Senator Lister Hill highlight her legacy ......Her spirit will endure as long as man can read and stories can be told of the woman who showed the world there are no boundaries to courage and faith.”

As we celebrate 20 years of ASNA in 2021, and its impact on the lives of so many people living with disabilities and special needs, we thank God for the inspiring, resilient and empowering experiences we have been a part of and supported along the ASNA journey. SO today we recognising and celebrating the life and impact of Helen Keller, a barrier breaker, change maker, woman if impact and resilience. Happy IWD to all the change -making, resilient, barrier breaking women out there. Continue to challenge!

As they ROCK. !

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