Author: Terry Severson, Director, Savings Plans Marketing, First National Bank of Omaha 

Here at Enable Alabama, we believe that anything is possible, and that opportunities should be afforded to individuals of all abilities. We promote working together to support members of the disability community, whether through advocacy or through helping individuals set aside savings for medical, educational and other necessary expenses.

It is because of the values we hold close we have chosen to spotlight one of the greatest American humanitarians in history for this month’s blog—an extraordinary individual and inspiring advocate for disability rights: Helen Keller.

An Alabama native, Keller was born in June of 1880. Early in life, she was stricken with by an illness that resulted in her becoming both blind and deaf. After working for decades with her beloved teacher, Anne Sullivan, Keller learned how to communicate and even went on to graduate from college. Later in life, she would help to found the American Civil Liberties Union and receive numerous awards for her advocacy work, as well as for her writing. Through her writings and public appearances, she illuminated disability issues and brought those important conversations to the forefront of the national—and international—dialogue.

Organizations like The Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education continue to seek cures for blindness and deafness through medical research—citing Keller’s own personal beliefs as their mission: “And our global efforts to end blindness and deafness through medical research are a result of her belief that no matter what the obstacle anything is possible.”