by Nancy Reynolds
(Denton, Md, USA)
It may seem strange but these were the children that inspired others to realize how creative and intelligent the deaf really are. They not only devised the signs they could use to communicate but taught others to understand. In reading through deaf history I was amazed at how this influence spread down through every person captivated by the desire to communicate with this remarkable community of people.
From the very beginning until now when total communication is used there is this one overwhelming realization that the deaf are truly wonderful human beings that just need to be given a chance to be in the mainstream of American life-with equal opportunities and rights. Everyone for so long focused on the African-American fight for rights but looking at history the deaf have had the same struggles and their achievement is no less worthy of note.
I am also amazed at the people in history that were deaf that made their mark and no one remembers them as deaf but only their great contributions–Tom Edison, Juliet Lowe and then the contribution that Abraham Lincoln made to the advancement of deaf education. We have a Black History Month, President’s Day–why not Deaf History Month or Day. Seems appropriate, in seeing the great achievements of the Deaf Community.
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