The American Foundation for the Blind is delighted to share this movie clip of Helen Keller in her home in Westport, Connecticut. Filmed in the 1950s, it beautifully captures Helen’s instinctive appreciation of the world around her and her wholehearted joy of living. This is one of 10 clips that will be uploaded to the newly digitized Helen Keller Archival Collection. These clips, newly cleaned, are now also described and captioned for blind and hearing impaired viewers.
Male audio description: A tree grows near a large, white house with many windows. Next, Helen exits through a door on the second floor.
Female narrator: First concern of the day is always the weather: to know how to dress for the morning walk with her dog Etu.
Male audio description: Helen holds a hand rail as she walks onto a sunny terrace.
Female narrator: Clear but cold.
Male audio description: Her fingers flicker softly in the air.
Female narrator: She checks with her braille thermometer.
Male audio description: She feels the round object mounted outside the door.
Female narrator: She is right.
Male audio description: She lightly touches surfaces to guide herself back inside.
Female narrator: In her dressing, Helen is completely independent. She knows her clothes and where to find them. Even to a stray belt.
Male audio description: Helen wears a robe as she stands at her closet and retrieves clothes. Now, her large German shepherd waits inside and gently paws the door to outside. Helen carries her clothing draped across her arm. She stops at a bookshelf full of small figurines. She touches one, examining the doll, and smiles. Later, Helen wears a winter jacket and opens the front door. The dog runs outside excitedly. She holds a handrail to find her way down four steps. Her gray hair is pinned back, neatly.
Female narrator: Every morning Helen goes for a walk along a thousand foot handrail built by a loving friend to guide her. A thousand feet where she is alone and free.
Male audio description: She constantly touches the wooden railing as she walks.
Female narrator: The walk seldom varies but for Helen it is always full of small, unexpected events.
Male audio description: Helen strolls across the dirt path constantly smiling. She moves slowly beside the railing. Suddenly, a fallen branch blocks her way. She stops and feels it. Helen grabs the long branch and delicately moves it over, to the other side of the railing. She then carries on with her walk in the sunshine. Tall trees and leafy plants grow along the path.
Female narrator: Helen has known from childhood what those with sight cannot realize: that one does not need eyes to see the world.
Male audio description: She stretches her arms away from the railing, and reaches out. She finds a bush and touches it with both hands.