A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
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Most Americans know Alexander Graham Bell as an inventor of the telephone. But few know that the central interest of his life was education for deaf children or that he was one of the strongest proponents of oralism in the United States. Bell and his father before him studied the physiology of speech. His mother was hard of hearing, and while she had enough hearing to use an ear tube for one-on-one conversations, Bell often used the British, two-handed manual alphabet to communicate with her. He also knew the sign language used in the United States. Through articles, papers, speeches, and teaching, Bell's support of oral education profoundly changed the way deaf children were taught.
". . . to ask the value of speech is like asking the value of life."
~ Alexander Graham Bell
Bell was a pragmatist who was willing to use sign language or other means to communicate with deaf adults. With children, however, he advocated a strictly oral education, without any signing.
CLARKE School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education
Bell was helpful in finding a teacher for Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind. Here, Keller and Bell talk with assistance from Annie Sullivan, Keller's teacher and mentor.
Library of Congress, Prints andPhotographs Division. LC-G9Zi-137,816-A
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Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
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Spring 2021 – Dec 12Fall 2021 – May 15