By Claudia Naidoo – Durban, South Africa (05/30/2016)
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet is my favourite historical figure in American Deaf History. Whilst doing additional research, I found that he had made a sacrifice of his own dreams in order to invest time into giving Alice Cogswell an education (around year 1814).I think that it is remarkable that he knew nothing about Deaf history or culture and yet he took the responsibility of finding out more (even in the period where finding this sort of information was very difficult) .What really impressed me is, Tomas sought help from others and he travelled across the world to the UK. He pushed on and sought help, even though there were people that didn’t want to provide him with the information he needed. He’s passion and determination to help his neighbours kid, has been a milestone in Deaf History. So many other have benefited from him, his passion filtered through to the generations after him. Thomas was pioneer for Deaf Education in the US. In Africa ( I live in South Africa) , it was Andrew Foster (1925–1987) the first African American graduate of Gallaudet University that established schools for the Deaf throughout Africa .Andrew is commonly referred to as the father of Deaf Education in Africa.
To conclude, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was an ordinary man that had Goals and Dreams like you and I. He saw Alice Cogswell playing and found interest in her, he gave up his dreams. He invested in her and millions of others benefited from this (like Andrew Foster).It is for this reason that Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet is my favorite historical figure in Deaf history.