“Blindness cuts people from things, deafness cuts people from people”, quoted by Helen Keller. This quote inspired me to pursue a career of being a Deaf Education Teacher because it is the best for the Deaf student to be taught by a Deaf teacher. However, the career of Deaf Education Teachers is a challenging career, because it requires a lot of time and dedication. This research paper will describe the career of Deaf Education Teachers, what is required to become a successful teacher, and the impact this career has on society.
Knowing the history and the background of Deaf culture is very important to be able to understand Deaf culture. Deaf Education Teachers in America date back to the mid 1800’s when Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc came to America from France. Clerc and Gallaudet wanted Deaf children to be able to attend school, so they founded the first Deaf school in America. The Deaf school is now known as America School for the Deaf. It was established in Hartford, Connecticut in 1817. This was where Deaf teachers began and thrived. In the next ten years more than 30 Deaf schools were established. Between the years 1840 and 1912, more than 40% of the Deaf school teachers were Deaf. Teachers taught using French Sign Language, which was the language of Laurent Clerc.
During the late 1800’s, Alexander Graham Bell, famous for his invention of the telephone, began a new movement for Education of the Deaf. A.G. Bell believed that Deaf students should be taught how to talk, not sign, like they had been since Gallaudet and Clerc came to America. He proved that the oral method, teaching Deaf kids to talk, was the best way by showing that they became successful, unlike the students who used sign language. He founded an oral school; soon there were oral schools all over the country. During this period of change, Deaf Teachers were rejected and there were only hearing teachers in the Deaf Schools. During this time, Deaf students were forced to talk, and if they signed they would be punished. This method of teaching Deaf students continued for about a hundred years. Then, another invention appeared which would have a huge impact on the Deaf community, Cochlear Implants. In 1985, the FDA approved Cochlear Implants to be implanted on children with hearing loss. By the next ten years, 12,000 candidates have been implanted and they used the oral method. Later, in 1990, two important educational documents were written, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). ADA helped outlaw discriminatory practices against Deaf people and people with disabilities, in general. IDEA allowed children who are disabled, which includes Deaf children, to attend neighborhood schools instead of forcing them to go to a special boarding school.
Everything in history will appear as a trend and then someday it will become obsolete; that was what happened to the oral method. Now, there was a new method of teaching,...