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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Deaf Americans see Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet as the founders of deaf education in the U.S., and many deaf Africans look to Andrew Foster in the same way. Before his arrival in Africa in 1957, the continent’s only schools for deaf children were in the politically troubled north and south. In 30 years, Foster established 32 mission schools in countries across central Africa.
Having raised funds in Europe, Foster established his first school in Ghana. There and elsewhere, his work was met with skepticism from authorities who questioned whether deaf children could be educated. Undeterred, Foster persisted in his work the rest of his life, in Africa as well as South America and the Caribbean.
Andrew Foster’s work was primarily targeted to educating deaf children, but he also preached the gospel to adults. One of his very first projects was a Sunday School he established in Accra, Ghana shortly after arriving from Europe.
Foster with adult students, 1957 Courtesy of the Andrew Foster Family Collection
As an American, Foster could have concentrated his work in English-speaking countries. But his vision included all of Africa, and he opened schools in several French-speaking nations as well. Working directly with students, he taught Bible classes at many schools.
Foster teaching in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1985 Courtesy of the Andrew Foster Family Collection
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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