Calling Helen Keller a fraud for her ‘unbelievable’ accomplishments is ableist

By Elsa Sjunneson: For Complete Post, Click Here…

‘Helen Keller is NOT real,’ one TikTok video argued. ‘There is absolutely NO way she was blind and deaf and wrote TWELVE books, learned FIVE whole languages, fell out of a building and DIDN’T die, went to Harvard, and had very very neat handwriting. She DOESN’T exist.’

Watching the video, I couldn’t help but think, ‘That’s funny – because I have learned five languages (albeit some of them badly). I didn’t go to Harvard but disability rights advocate Haben Girma did… and my handwriting can be tidy when I want it to be.’ And just like Helen Keller, I’m Deafblind.

Unfortunately this wasn’t just one video; last week a TikTok trend caught my attention in which people argued – some satirically and some very seriously – that Helen Keller couldn’t have written the books she wrote or accomplished the things that she did because of her disability. According to some of those who believe this theory, her handlers did everything for her and she just took the credit for it.

This instantly infuriated me because, at its core, this ‘joke’ or conspiracy theory implies I can’t do any of the things that I’ve done in my life either. It says that Deafblind people like me should be relegated to obscurity because our accomplishments are unbelievable.

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