Cogswell’s fascination with the deaf world evolved from his daughter Alice, who had become deaf early on in her childhood. Unfortunately, Alice lost her hearing through developing a severe case of meningitis after her second birthday (Edwards, 14). Thankfully, she survived the disease but was unable to become educated because of the lack of schooling for deaf children in America. As any parent should, Cogswell desired his daughter be educated to the same standard as any other child. He always had the option to send his daughter abroad but, was reluctant because of the cost and inability to be with his daughter (Edwards, 14). To ensure his daughter receive some education, Cogswell persuaded a local private school, taught by Lydia Huntley, to enroll his daughter and attempt to teach her English allowing her to develop at a similar rate to other children (Edwards, 14-15). Subs...
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...ithout the participation of Mason Fitch Cogswell, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc and those worked to open Gallauduet University, deaf education would be decades behind in development. Cogswell, Gallaudet, and Clerc’s efforts to achieve the opening of the first deaf school in America set the high standards of deaf education across the country. With this initial task accomplished by their ability to teach manualism and educate future teachers of deaf students, schools such as Gallaudet University were able to flourish. Once Gallaudet University was established deaf students were able to prosper not only academically but socially, once again proving to America their worth as a group. The history of deaf education presents the importance of perseverance and equal opportunities for all while proving deafness is not a disability unless you force it to become one.
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