One of the most important skills that Anne learned at the Perkins School for the Blind was the manual alphabet developed for deaf people. Each letter of the alphabet is formed with a different hand sign. For a person who is deaf-blind, words are signed into the palm of the hand. The person feels the movement of the fingers, which are surrounded by the listener's hand. The ability to sign into another's palm was a key part of Anne's later success in communicating with Helen Keller.
At Perkins Anne's hard work and keen mind resulted in her being chosen as the valedictorian of her class in 1886. She gave the following speech at the commencement ceremony:
All the wondrous physical, intellectual and moral endowments, with which man is blessed, will, by inevitable law, become useless, unless he uses and improves them...If a love for truth and beauty and goodness is not cultivated, the mind loses the strength which comes from truth, the refinement which comes from beauty, and the happiness which comes from goodness.
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