Edward Miner Gallaudet: The Father Of The Deaf Community

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Deafness. The term is used to describe people who are unable to hear. Deafness is a social and cultural phenomenon that exists in every country and culture in the world, and has existed for a long time. People in the deaf communities all share a common perception; thus, creating a distinctive cultural, linguistic, and social community. Their language is the main feature of deaf culture that separates and distinguishes them from hearing people all throughout history.
Members of the deaf community share common values, traditions, norms; and, most importantly, they share a language. Deaf people do not think of themselves as being handicapped, disabled or impaired and do not perceive themselves as having lost something. The deaf community does
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Edward was the youngest of the eight children in his family; his father, Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, was the first principal of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, and his mother, Sophia Fowler, was a deaf student of Thomas Gallaudet. When Edward was young, he wanted to become a businessman and work in a bank and his father encouraged him to become a teacher for the deaf instead. Edward stayed true to his plan until his father died; Edward changed his mind after his father passed and decided to become a teacher for the deaf. To complete his education, Edward attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. When Edward was finished at Trinity College, he was offered a job, in 1855, at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, the school where his father was one of the founders and was the principle. A year later, in 1856, a wealthy businessman, Amos Kendall, offered Edward a job to become a superintendant at a newly formed school in Washington, DC. Edward accepted the job with no hesitation. In 1857, Edward became the first superintendent at the school at age of 20, and his mother, Sophia, moved with Edward to help him attend and manage the school
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