(El Paso, Tx, USA)
The person I admire the most from deaf history is Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. The reason for this is the great impact he had on the deaf people in America.
Because of his interest in Alice Cogswell, Gallaudet traveled to Europe and learned from the most knowledgeable people in the techniques of teaching the deaf. After he learned the different teaching methods, and signs used by the French deaf schools, Gallaudet, accompanied by Laurent Clerc, returned to America and proceeded to establish the first school for the Deaf in the U.S. Eventually, because of Gallaudet, the first college for the Deaf was established along with twenty-two other Deaf schools.
The thing I like the most about Gallaudet is how his first small concern for a little girl started a chain of events that ended with a historic event like a college for the Deaf. For me, Gallaudet’s story shows how ordinary people can impact history and people around them by doing what seems impossible.
If you think about it, when Gallaudet returned to America with the dream of opening a free school for Deaf students, it might have seemed impossible at the time. However, Gallaudet accomplished his vision, which expanded and finally resulted in his son, Edward Gallaudet, helping to establish a deaf college, which was named Gallaudet University in 1986, in honor of he one who started the journey that ended in a Deaf University.