Forest Hills community leaders recently joined the Queens Economic Development Corporation in unveiling a new mural that pays tribute to Helen Keller, a former resident who defeated extraordinary odds to become an inspirational civil rights activist, educator, and author.
Located on the west wall of the LIRR’s Ascan Avenue overpass, the painting features images of Keller along with her most famous quote: “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Funding for the $6,500 arts initiative was secured by Rego-Forest Preservation Council Chairman Michael Perlman through the QEDC, City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), and local retailers.
From 1917 to 1938, Keller lived in a house on the corner of 112th Street and 71st Road. Though blind and deaf since infancy due to scarlet fever, she learned Braille and lip-reading. At age 24, Keller became the first deaf-blind person to receive a bachelor of arts degree from Radcliffe College. From there, she became a women’s suffragette, disability activist, author, and lecturer on the way to being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
In the photo (l. to r.): QEDC Deputy Director Ricardi Calixte, QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein,
Michael Perlman, and his mother, Linda Perlman.
Photo Courtesy of QEDC