My favorite person in deaf history is Laurent Clerc. He was not given an education for the first eleven or twelve years of his life. He stayed at home taking care of the animals, while others his age were going to school getting an education.
Many people thought that deaf people could not gain an education, whether because it was too much work to teach them or for other reasons, not many hearing people put in much effort or help.
Once finally put in a school at the age of twelve, Clerc was clearly a bright child. He went on to learn many things including sign language that he, in fact, taught to Gallaudet, who, in turn, tutored him in the English language.
After meeting Gallaudet, he was offered a teaching position in Russia. He turned the offer down due to financial reasons. Gallaudet and Clerc began their journey together, they traveled to America, and Clerc met Alice Cogswell, who was the inspiration, and beginning of Gallaudet’s amazing life of education and dedication.
Together Clerc and Gallaudet were a great team; they went on to raise $12,000 after demonstrating their teaching methods, and giving speeches to show their, much more effective, way of teaching with signing rather than the oral method.
He had a huge impact on many lives. Deaf and hearing, learned through his example, he is certainly not a forgotten man.