By: Bethany Crouch (11/08/16)
Thomas was a young teenager at age 14, when he graduated from Yale University. He also began studying sign language and European educational systems and how they taught students. Gallaudet was challenged and inspired by the educational system that he traveled to Europe to expand his further knowledge and reach out to future students.
Thomas came back from Europe, to his home town in Connecticut. At this time Gallaudet, met a young 9 year old girl named, Alice Cogswell. Who was deaf. Cogswell’s Father, reached out to Thomas for his educational help, because he didn’t want his daughter to miss out on an education just because she was deaf. When he was in England he met many educators, and Dr. Cogswell funded his trip back to Europe to help get him better educated in lip reading and oral methods of learning for deaf children. Thomas then met, Laurent Clerc, who was deaf. Thomas taught Laurent English, and Laurent taught Thomas Sign language.
They both traveled back to Connecticut for a mission to make a school in the U.S. Gallaudet and Clerc were the first people to build the first, American School for the deaf. Clerc was also the very first deaf teacher of deaf students of the United States. The school expanded and later, Gallaudet married one of the graduates of the school. With the help of Clerc and both of their compassionate hearts, they helped expand the education for many other students.