She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer

Teacher Resources

Flossie and my Laura Bridgman book

My newest book, co-authored with my husband, Bob Alexander, is a biography of the first successfully-educated Deaf-Blind person, fifty years before Helen Keller. Without sight, hearing, smell, or taste, Laura became the blueprint for future generations of the Deaf-Blind and all disabled people.

We are thrilled that the book has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection. In a starred review, Kirkus called it “a valuable and long-overdue addition to library shelves.” In another starred review, School Library Journal said, “The authors of this meticulously researched biography convey Bridgman’s world of touch and sensation in terms children will understand: ‘The sun was heat on her face.’ Mountains were sloped, uneven paths to climb.’”

In classrooms, training centers, and libraries, She Touched the World can be used to:

  • learn about one person’s remarkable life
  • show how touch and any remaining sense can be trained to substitute for lost ones
  • practice the manual alphabet of the deaf
  • discuss new laws, medicines, attitudes, and technology which enhance disabled people’s independence
  • inspire readers to overcome obstacles
  • study important conflicts and culture in nineteenth century New England
  • learn about other significant nineteenth century figures, such as Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, and Dorothea Dix
  • discuss the term “pioneer,” and challenges of other pioneers
  • discuss research techniques, including use of written sources and period images
  • illustrate good nonfiction story-telling, using letters, journals, and reports, not fictional dialogue

She Touched the World is written for students between the ages of 8 and 13. It can be purchased for $18 from local book stores, as well as through Clarion Books, Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003; phone: 212-420-5836; web site:

Use the sale of this book as a fund-raiser

Groups can purchase Clarion books at a 40% discount. Sell the books at list price and use the profits for your organization.

Sally and Bob talk about remarkable Laura Bridgman, first successfully-educated Deaf-Blind person and about writing the book.


See Sally's Presentations page for information on speaking engagements and school visits.