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The History Of The Gallaudet School For The Deaf

815 words - 4 pages

The Gallaudet School of the Deaf is a University in Washington D.C. The school was first intended for the deaf and the blind. Mason Cogswell had a daughter, Alice, who was deaf. He, like any father, was worried about her education since she could not learn like normal children. Cogswell found out that in England Thomas Braidwood had started a deaf school, so he sent the most trusted person he knew to investigate the school. He convinced his neighbor and member of his intellectual circle, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, to go to England and check it out. Thomas Gallaudet was a known genius. He was a reverend who started Yale University at fourteen. Three years later, at age seventeen, he graduated first in his class. Gallaudet was pleased with his findings and came back with a companion the two started the first school for the deaf, the American School for the Deaf. Alice was the first student and the school still educates today.
The Gallaudet University was founded in 1864 when Amos Kendall donated two acres in Washington D.C. for deaf and blind students seeking aide. He became involved in the children's lives and convinced the government to let them be his wards. He received aide from the government and started the Columbia Institute for the Instruction for the Deaf and Dumb. Kendall appointed Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet's son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, as superintendent. In the twentieth century, the university shifted more towards the technical fields of study, but Percival Hall, the second president of the school, changed the curriculum again to a more liberal field. In 1954, an act of congress the Columbia Institute for the Instruction for the Deaf and Dumb was changed to the Gallaudet University. In 1970, Gallaudet was being effected by the law, so they did what any normal school would do, change to fit the needs of the government. Sounds an awful lot like the society now.
Even though Gallaudet was the first deaf school in America, nobody really knew about them. That is until March 9, 1988. The board of trustees announced that seventh president, Jane Spilman, a hearing person. The students, faculty, alumni, and staff were outraged. They protested and even succeeded in shutting down the campus until their demands were met. The protests lasted about a week, and all of their demands were met. Now only a deaf person is allowed to be the president of...

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