The New York Institute For Special Education

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Distinguished Student Alumni » Helen Siefert

Helen Siefert

Helen with her instructor
 
Helen Siefert was one of the first and the most famous deaf-blind person to attend the New York Institute. She first became known "Nebraska's Helen Keller" in her local newspapers as money was raised to send her to the Perkins School for training at the age of 7. She attended school there until the New York Institute opened its own deaf-blind program in 1938. There is a collection of photos of Helen in Photo Album section of the website. 
 
 
 
Helen Keller donated money to support her attendance of Perkins. Helen Siefert was featured an numerous magazine and newspaper articles during her attendance at NYI. In 1940, Life Magazine ran a detailed article on the Deaf-Blind Program and she was featured extensively. She stayed at the Institute until she was 25 years old. She learned to sew, knit and communicate using a braille writer and standard typewriter. Helen returned to Nebraska in 1952 with her long time instructor Margaret Hoshor. Helen died in 2009 at the age of 82.