Laura Bridgman made headlines in the 19th century when her parents enrolled her at the Perkins Institute for the Blind. Under the guidance of Samuel Gridley Howe she learned how to speak with her fingers and became the first formally educated deaf-blind person in the United States. Though we hear little about her today, she was regularly named as an inspiration by Helen Keller- so who was Laura Bridgman and what was she doing hanging out with Charles Dickens?
Charles Dickens. American Notes for General Circulation and Pictures from Italy. London: Chapman & Hall, ltd., 1913.
Ernest Freeberg. The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language. Cambridge and London: Harvard University Press, 2001
Edith Fisher Hunter. Child of the Silent Night. HMH Books for Young Readers, 1963.
Helen Keller. My Life. John Albert Macy, ed. First published 1903. Available via American Foundation for the Blind.
B.L. McGinnity, J. Seymour-Ford, and K.J. Andries. Laura Bridgman. Perkins History Museum, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA, 2004.
The Laura Bridgman Online Collection from Perkins School for the Blind
Music by Kevin MacLeod (www.incompetech.com)