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Important Figures in Deaf History and Culture

Updated on March 30, 2013

Deaf Success

Just because someone is deaf doesnt mean they will not live promising lives. This wasnt always true like it is today though. As more people started to take interest in the deaf community and realize that these people can do just as well in many things as a fully capable human all that was needed was some help. Though the ages people started learning Sign Language which enabled quick communication to and from a deaf person. With these advances in communication came to ability to learn just as much as anyone else to be successful in life. Not only was sign language developed, but ways for the deaf to live alone and go though a whole day safely was also coming true by incorporating the use of full trained Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. These pooches alert deaf people to noises like alarms and cars, keeping the master safe at all times. There are more and more deaf people breaking out into the world on a large scale of success.

The First Step to Deaf Education

In the late 18th century Abbé Charles-Michel de l'Épée founded the world's first public school for deaf students in Paris. This breakthrough was a great step in history for the deaf. Using sign language to educate and enhance knowledge was the key to this school. Before this school opened only the rich children could get any kind of help at all. This was the emerging point to start the whole history of deaf education.

Granville Redmond: Malibu Coast, Spring c. 1929 Oil on canvas, 20 x 25 inches (Click to Enlarge)
Granville Redmond: Malibu Coast, Spring c. 1929 Oil on canvas, 20 x 25 inches (Click to Enlarge)

Famous Deaf People from then on Out

  • Ferdinand Berthier, French intellectual, published several articles, first deaf person to receive the French Legion of Honor, founder of world's first deaf organization
  • Julia Brace (1807-1884), early American deaf-blind student at the Hartford School for the Deaf
  • John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854), American, itinerant artist of the Federalist Period in America
  • Laura Bridgman, (1829-1889), American, first deaf-blind student of Dr. Samuel Howe at the Perkins School for the Blind
  • Laurent Clerc (1785-1869), French-American, co-founder of first school for the deaf in America, first deaf teacher of the deaf in America
  • Pierre Desloges (1742-??), French deaf writer and bookbinder, first known deaf person to publish a book
  • William Elsworth "Dummy" Hoy (1862-1961), American baseball player
  • Helen Keller, American deaf-blind writer, lecturer, and actor
  • Granville Redmond, American painter
  • Douglas Tilden, American sculptor

Dummy Hoy

Dummy Hoy came and showed that even deaf people could have a career doing what they love. Major league baseball is a major step for anyone, and even without being able to hear he had a successful career as a baseball player. His story is a touching one that helps drive deaf people forward in there effort and education showing that they have just as many chances to make it big as anyone else.

Other Notable Deaf People

Pressing Forword

Just like always everyday new Deaf people are out in the world making it big. Everything from actors to models and even major league teams. Deaf people never need to give up anymore, can work normal jobs and live normal lives - even with spouses and children because of all the newer innovations in how people communicate with objects, other people, and animals.


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    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Interesting. Great start for the hubmob week!

    • profile image

      MarianG 6 years ago

      Lots of great information here!

    • starlance profile image

      starlance 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Really neat idea for a hub and well executed. Can't wait to read more about Dummy Hoy.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Helen Keller, stands out to me most of all. Her live was a miracle, as she was not only deaf, but blind and mute.

    • wealthseeker profile image

      wealthseeker 6 years ago from USA

      Great list, I took a class on ASL by an amazing deaf teacher in college, he was so funny, telling jokes via sign Lang. I am out of practice now but he changed my views about all deaf people.

      Beethoven, German composer was deaf later in his life.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Very interesting hub, thanks so much for sharing.

    • TeaPartyCrasher profile image

      TeaPartyCrasher 6 years ago from Camp Hill, PA

      Fact within a fact. Dummy Hoy was the person that led to the creation of the hand signals that baseball umpires use today to signal balls, strikes, etc. . .

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