(Clearwater, FL, USA)
Up until now, the only deaf (famous) people I was really familiar with was Helen Keller. Most of us had heard her story and found her to be inspiring. Through the years I’ve had deaf students in my classroom, hard of hearing friends, and I’m hard of hearing. But I’ve never read much on, “deaf history.”
Since starting this course, I’ve read about Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. I was so impressed with him that I went online to read more of my own. His dedication to the deaf is amazing. And it began when he met a nine year old little girl who was deaf. Rather than assume she was not smart enough to be educated, he saw her potential. So he traveled to Europe to study sign language. He brought back the language and a teacher! Together, they were able to start a school for the deaf.
His dedication, determination, and love for the deaf was apparent and passed on to his children. His son not only worked at the school with his father, but went on to open a college for deaf students.
In thinking about Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, you have to wonder where we would be now if he hadn’t met a young deaf girl. Her life might now have been the same, as we well as thousands of others.