Deaf-Blindness Awareness Week

David SpearsWe all have important roles to play in building the Texas of tomorrow. Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 25-30, 2017, to be Helen Keller Deaf-Blindness Awareness Week in Texas, and urge the appropriate recognition whereof. In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature this the 6th day of June, 2017. — Office of the Governor

Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880. At 19 months old she contracted an illness, the exact nature of which is unknown that left her completely deaf and blind. After searching for help, the family found Anne Sullivan, a recent graduate of the Perkins Institute for the Blind who helped Keller overcome tremendous barriers with her ability to communicate. Over the 49-year relationship between teacher and pupil, Keller became a world famous lecturer, author, and activist. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan established Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareness week. In his proclamation he commemorated Helen Keller as “America’s most renowned and respected deaf-blind person. Her accomplishments serve as a beacon of courage and hope for our Nation, symbolizing what deaf-blind people can achieve.”

In recognition of DeafBlind awareness week the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities proudly shares Governor Abbott’s proclamation:

STATE OF TEXAS OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
A childhood illness left her deaf and blind, but the loss of sight and sound could not keep Helen Keller from achieving incredible things. With the support of her family and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Ms. Keller grew from a child who could not communicate into a woman who read five languages, wrote books, gave speeches and even acted in a film.

Helen Keller’s inspiring life and incredible personal gifts brought awareness to the condition of deaf-blindness and demonstrated that people with multisensory disabilities could lead full lives.

From the provision of employment-related assistance to the availability of supportive technological devices, significant progress has been made in ensuring that all Americans have the tools to realize their potential. Increasingly, today’s deaf-blind individuals have specially trained interveners and support service providers who supply the best possible opportunities for those with disabilities to communicate, access information and participate fully in their communities.

At this time, I encourage all Texans to participate in this deaf-blindness awareness campaign by commemorating Helen Keller’s birth, acknowledging the many contributions of Texans who have disabilities and learning how to best offer support to Texans with multisensory disabilities.

David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.

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