By the age of ten, Helen Keller was proficient in reading braille and in manual sign language and she now wished to learn how to speak. Anne took Helen to the Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Boston. The principal, Sarah Fuller, gave Helen eleven lessons. Then Anne took over and Helen learned how to speak. But she was never truly satisfied with her speech, which was often hard to understand. She struggled to vocalize her words throughout much of her life.
The method that Anne used was pioneered in America by Sophia Alcorn, a teacher at the Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville, Kentucky. She succeeded in teaching two young deaf-blind children named Tad Chapman and Oma Simpson to speak. Alcorn named her method Tad-Oma after these two pupils. The children were taught to speak by touching their teacher's cheek and feeling vocal vibrations.