Category: Student Papers

Welcome to our list of Start ASL articles written by students! Here you will find all of our articles that have been written by Start ASL students.


Deaf Classroom Design

by Michelle Waldo | August 28, 2018 When I was in college I spent a semester interning at Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services (D&HHS) in Grand Rapids, MI. One […]

Gallaudet University

by Madeline Huwaldt | October 3, 2018 Gallaudet University was founded in 1864 and is located in Washington D.C and is a federally chartered private school. Originally Gallaudet was a […]

Nellie Zabel Willhite – First Deaf Woman Pilot

by Clayton Shell | November 16, 2017 Nellie Zabel Willhite was the woman that I had found in my research on “Deaf people in History.” Born November 22, 1892, in […]

Marie Heurtin – the French Helen Keller

by Alyssa Weeks | November 14, 2017 My favorite person in deaf history is Marie Heurtin. You might know her as the French Hellen Keller but to many she is […]

Alexander Graham Bell – Helpful or Harmful?

We all know Alexander Graham Bell (known as AGB in the Deaf community) as the inventor of the telephone. That makes him a good guy, right? Creating a way for […]

Children of a Lesser God

Children of a Lesser God is a 1986 film that, we believe, brought Deaf Culture and the values of deaf people into the public spotlight. If you have never seen […]

Deaf Culture Do’s and Don’ts

Learning the nuances of Deaf Culture can be difficult for new American Sign Language students. Below you can find some tips and insights about interacting in the Deaf community submitted […]

Juliette Gordon Low – Deaf Founder of the Girl Scouts

Juliette Gordon Low was a deaf woman who was best known for being the founder of the Girl Scouts organization. Juliette Gordon Low Articles by Students Who is your favorite […]

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ludwig Van Beethoven was completely deaf for the last part of his life and yet managed to produce some of the greatest music of all time. Beethoven Articles by Students […]

Abbe de L’Epee

Abbe de L’Epee, a French Catholic priest, founded the first social and religious association for deaf people around 1750. L’Epee’s full name was Abbe Charles Michel de L’Epee and he […]

LeRoy Colombo – Famous Deaf Lifeguard

LeRoy Colombo was a famous deaf lifeguard entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for saving 907 lives. Leroy Colombo Articles by Students LeRoy Colombo by Leah Ward (Williamsburg, […]

William Stokoe

William Stokoe – or William C. Stokoe Jr. – changed the course of American Sign Language history. Before Stokoe, ASL was not seen as a real language. It was seen […]

Laurent Clerc

Laurent Clerc played a significant part in the history of American Sign Language and was the first deaf teacher of the deaf in America. He was also among the first […]

Laura Redden Searing – First Deaf Female Journalist

Laura Redden Searing was born in 1839 and is best known for being the first deaf female journalist. She was sent by the St. Louis Republican to cover the American Civil […]

Laura Bridgman – The First Helen Keller

Laura Bridgman was the first deaf-blind person to learn language. When you think about the first deaf-blind child to be educated, you will most likely think of Helen Keller. In […]

Helen Keller – The First Deaf-Blind College Graduate

Helen Keller is an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer. And that is so amazing because she was deaf and blind. When I was in elementary school, we learned all about […]

Sean Berdy

Sean Berdy is a deaf actor, comedian and dancer. He was in Sandlot 2, Legend of the Mountain Man, The Deaf Family, and is best known for his role as […]

Deaf President Now (DPN)

A big event that occurred in Deaf history was the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement. DPN was a huge protest at Gallaudet University that started in March of 1988. The […]

Julia Brace

Julia Brace was a deaf-blind girl who was born before both Laura Bridgman and Helen Keller. She was successfully educated, but lost the credit as the first to Helen Keller. […]

Heather Whitestone – The First Deaf Miss America

Heather Whitestone McCallum is known as “Miss Deaf America” (even though Miss Deaf America is a different pageant). She was the first deaf woman to be crowned Miss America in […]

George William Veditz

George Veditz was a former president of the National Association of the Deaf of the United States and was one of the first to film American Sign Language. George William […]

Edward Miner Gallaudet

When Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet died in 1851, his youngest son Edward Miner Gallaudet continued his legacy in deaf education, played a big part in the history of American Sign Language, and […]

Geronimo Cardano

Geronimo Cardano played a significant role in the history of sign language–particularly in the history of deaf education. Cardano was an Italian mathematician and physician. He discovered in the 1500s […]

Linda Bove – “Linda the Librarian”

Linda Bove was born on November 30, 1945 in Garfield, New Jersey to deaf parents. She majored in library science at Gallaudet University and received her bachelor’s degree in 1968. […]

Dummy Hoy (William Hoy) – The First Deaf Major League Baseball Player

Dummy Hoy made history as the first deaf major league baseball player. He’s also not famous just because he was deaf; he was also a remarkably talented and skilled baseball […]

History of American Sign Language

The history of American Sign Language didn’t truly begin until 1814 when deaf education was introduced to the United States. There is virtually no information about American Sign Language history […]

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas was a deaf undercover specialist for the FBI. She was the inspiration for the TV series Sue Thomas: FBEye, an international speaker, author, and founder of Kennels of […]

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet is probably the most influential person in the history of American Sign Language. Gallaudet, along with Laurent Clerc, was responsible for starting the first free public […]

Andrew Foster

Andrew Foster is a very important person in Deaf history. He was the first African American Deaf person to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Gallaudet University and is known as […]

Marlee Matlin – Deaf Academy Award Winner

Marlee Matlin was born in Morton Grove, Illinois on August 24th, 1965. After she came down with the German Measles at the age of eighteen months, she lost her hearing […]

History of Sign Language – Deaf History

The events that occurred in the history of sign language are actually pretty shocking. How deaf people experience life today is directly related to how they were treated in the […]

Ferdinand Berthier

by Catherine Ritchie | July 22, 2017 The Deaf community has a rich culture with many prominent figures in its history. Some whose names are fairly well known such as […]

Johnnie Ray – Deaf “Father of Rock and Roll”

by Jennifer Hatley | July 7, 2017 I find music to be my outlet for so many different things. I chose Johnnie Ray (John Alvin Ray) as he was an […]

Teresa de Cartagena

by Jack | April 7, 2017 Teresa de Cartagena was a nun in 15th Century Spain. She is remarkable for being Spain’s first feminist writer as well as for being […]

Regina Olson Hughes

by Cynthia Brainerd | February 27, 2017 Regina Olson Hughes (1895-1993) became fully deaf at the age of 14, due to the effects of scarlet fever. She could still speak […]

I. King Jordan – Deaf People Can Do Anything Except Hear

by Brent | November 9, 2017 This now famous quote is from my favorite person in Deaf history – I. King Jordan. He became the first Deaf president of Gallaudet […]

Pedro Ponce de Leon

by Marcus McNeal | November 29, 2016 “Everybody has to start somewhere. You have your whole future ahead of you. Perfection doesn’t happen right away.” (Haruki Murakami, 2006). The quote […]

Kevin Lucas Smire

by David Cooper | October 13, 2016 The deaf person wrote about was Kevin Lucas Smire who was also known as “Deaf Kev.” He was born on October 28, 1996 […]

Matt and Kay Daigle | That Deaf Guy

by Karri Kimery | August 18, 2016 As I was reading about people in the deaf community, I came across Matt and Kay Daigle.  These two met in 1993, at […]

Gertrude Ederle

by Natalie Picone | August 27, 2016 In 1926 at the age of 19, Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim across the English Channel.  Twenty-one miles from Dover, […]

Louise Fletcher

by Lisa | February 3, 2016 I’m going to talk about someone here who first opened my eyes to sign language, and that is the actress Louise Fletcher. Louise Fletcher […]

Nanette Fabray

by Nanette Kaufmann (Kissimmee, Florida) Award winning actress and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. Her honors representing the handicapped are many, including the President’s Distinguished Service-vice Award […]

David Michalowski

by Anonymous David Michalowski, profoundly deaf since birth, grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He competed at the United States Figure Skating National Championships from 1978 until 1982, including the 1980 […]

Dr. Candace McCullough

by Anne (Richmond, VA) Dr. Candace McCullough is the first Deaf psychologist to set up a counseling business. She makes counseling services accessible to Deaf people all over the states. Dr. […]

Braam Jordaan

by Anonymous Braam Jordaan was born profoundly Deaf to Deaf parents in Benoni, Johannesburg. He has achieved outstanding art recognition both locally and internationally. After graduating from TAS, he worked […]

Lou Ferrigno

by Hannah (Indiana) Lou has been an inspiration to many deaf, he played the Hulk in the original series, he also appeared in “I love you, Man” and appeared as […]

Joseph Henry Sharp

by Kristyn Murray (Houston, Texas) Joseph Henry Sharp was one of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists, a group that produced some of the most significant artwork […]

Joel Barish – Contemporary Deaf Performer

by Sara Huang (Taipei, Taiwan) | March 12, 2013 I have read a lot about the oppression of the Deaf, but I really appreciate people who have embraced Deaf culture […]

Learning Beyond The Sign

by Janeel Hew (Hawaii) | June 18, 2010 Understanding the past, helps us to embrace the present. Finally an online class, that teaches you that learning ASL means more than […]

Thomas Alva Edison

by Kamalakannan (India) Another famous deaf person is Thomas Alva Edison who was born on February 11, 1847. He was an American scientist, inventor, and businessman. However, many people don’t […]

Granville Redmond

by Grace (Canada) My favorite deaf historical figure is Granville Redmond. His struggle to be accepted by the common man is fairly touching, and his paintings are simply out of […]

Robert Hoskin

by Joseph Heenan (Frankston, Australia) | March 8, 2013 The 48 year old Australian named Robert Hoskin is a well-known deaf filmmaker who has won several film awards from his […]

Rodger Young

by Anonymous Rodger Young was a deaf man who faked his Army hearing test in World War II. He won a Posthumous Medal of Honor in the Soloman Islands. Rodger […]

Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan is one of the most well-known teachers in history. She is best known for being the teacher of Helen Keller and the subject of movies such as The Miracle […]

Bob Hiltermann

by Anonymous | March 2, 2013 Bob Hiltermann is a well known Deaf actor and is known for: Founder of Deaf West Theater (Fountain Theater) in North Hollywood California. All […]

Alice Cogswell – The Beginning of American Deaf Education

When you are 9 years old, you don’t think about making history. Alice Cogswell made history at the age of 9 by sparking the beginning of the creation of American […]

American Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL) is the natural language of around 500,000 deaf people in the US and Canada. A “natural” language is a language that is learned as a first […]

Cochlear Implants – A Cultural Threat

This article discusses a common Deaf cultural view of cochlear implants. Not everyone shares these views and this article is for educational purposes only. The company’s name used throughout the […]

The Deaf Community and How You Can Get Involved

When you are learning American Sign Language, it is important to get involved with the Deaf community. Many believe that learning ASL within the Deaf community is the only true […]