by Mary Lovik
I’ve chosen Edward Miner Gallaudet as my favorite person from Deaf History because he founded Gallaudet University. I have had the pleasure of visiting Gallaudet several times over the past few years because my daughter got her Master’s Degree in ASL interpreting there, and worked there for a year before going out on her own as an ASL interpreter.
Edward Miner Gallaudet founded a unique, wonderful place where students learn in their own language, in an environment that embraces and nurtures Deaf culture. Education is critical to the advancement of deaf people and Deaf culture, and Gallaudet University offers students unique opportunities to gain undergraduate and graduate degrees. There is no place in the world like Gallaudet. Students can get degrees in the same subjects offered at institutions for hearing students, as well in subjects like Deaf culture and education. The university has great sports teams who are fun to watch, and lots of interesting cultural offerings. The campus is green and beautiful, with both lovely old buildings and modern ones.
In addition to carrying the banner for Deaf education in the U.S., Gallaudet works to promotes education for the deaf around the world. At Gallaudet, deaf students in the US can connect with their counterparts in far away places. Deaf students from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East attend Gallaudet, and students from the US have the chance to travel abroad themselves to meet deaf students from other countries. My daughter accompanied student groups who went to India and South Africa; these are just two of the places where Gallaudet students can travel.
Edward Miner Gallaudet’s vision created a place where deaf students could get a higher education on their own terms, without having to accommodate themselves to the hearing world. For this contribution, I’ve chosen him as my favorite person from Deaf History.