By: Steph Grizzard (02/24/17)
I don’t know if I can pick a favorite person to influence deaf history. It is such a rich history and the culture is what it is today because of all of them together. Abbe de L’Epee founded the first public deaf school and used all of the signs that the students were using at home to create a whole language. Thomas Gallaudet was inspired by his neighbors daughter which influenced him to travel overseas and meet the people that developed a language and schools for the deaf. He was inspired even more by Abbe Sicard, Jean Massieu, and Laurent Clerc. He even convinced Laurent Clerc to come back to America with him to open the first public deaf school in America. Thomas Gallaudet inspired his son, Edward, to start the first deaf college in the U.S. which is now named Gallaudet University. Even Alexander Graham Bell, who was inspired to invent the telephone in hopes that it would help his mother and wife hear, was a big influence in the deaf world. He tutored Helen Keller and, although not a popular method in the deaf community, was a huge supporter of oralism. The entire history of the deaf community and deaf world is too fascinating for me to be able to pick just one favorite influential person. The fact that every person had a hand in making the deaf Culture the beautiful world that it is today, is enough for me to love them all.