(Liberty, MO, USA)
I know that Alexander Graham Bell is a very controversial figure in Deaf culture, understandably.
I can also see how his invention isolated an already oppressed people group–the entire deaf community for many years. However, I think it is amazing how his invention has come full-circle. Without the invention of the telephone, we would have no telephone. With no telephone, there would be no texting. Both of which are vital in connecting the Deaf community with the others, both hearing and non-hearing.
I must admit, that the article on Alexander Graham Bell was one of the first I have read that described him as a foe. This is also the first time I have heard it posed that he intentionally tried to damage the lives of Deaf people. While, I intend to investigate this further, I am baffled that he would be seen so villainously despite the fact that he was married to a deaf woman.
Certainly, it is not assumed that he was preventing her from marrying another deaf person and bringing deaf children into the world? One would have to be quite cynical to believe that he did not want what was best for her, albeit as misguided as it was.
As I said, I need to do more research. However, I am delighted that the Deaf community has so much access to information and online community through the internet and texting…which is also giving me, and others like me, that chance to study ASL and better communicate with the deaf.