Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet

September 23, 2015
Category: Submitted Posts

by Anonymous

Thomas H. Gallaudet is a remarkable figure in deaf history. He went above and beyond to help Alice Cogswell by traveling to Europe to learn from deaf educators there. He saw the need for deaf people to have access to an education. He also recognized the benefit of sign language and realized that oralism was not a good fit as the only method for educating deaf people. He helped establish American Sign Language by incorporating signs his students brought from home and some of the French signs he learned while studying with Laurent Clerc. The American School for the Deaf was founded in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817 by Gallaudet and Clerc. It was the first public deaf school in the U.S. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was so passionate in his pursuits that his legacy was passed on to his son Edward. Edward Gallaudet at only 18 years old was asked to be the Superintendent of the Columbia Institute for Deaf, Dumb, and Blind in Washington D.C. in 1855. Nine years later Columbia began granting college degrees. In 1893 the college was renamed Gallaudet College and was awarded university status in 1986. To date it is the only deaf university, and it is named after Thomas Gallaudet.


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