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On a World Deaf Day, Salute to a scientist who connected the world!'

Salute to a scientist who connected the world on a World Deaf Day! Call it a co- incidence! We were on a vacation & we happened to visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck, Cape Briton, Nova Scotia, on September 24th. But why is it a co incidence? It is a World Deaf Day!

We all know that Alexander Graham Bell invented the Telephone & changed the history & communication scene. We also know he has invented countless other devices but we hardly know that he had a great impact on Deaf Education. We hardly know him as the father of oralism in American Deaf Education.

But how did Alexander Graham Bell, a renowned scientist enter the field of disability & deaf education?

Alexander's own mother was deaf & his father taught & helped deaf people speak, called visible speech. Alexander modified his father's Visible Speech method to teach Deaf children. His wife, Mabel Hubbard, was his deaf former student. His interest in teaching deaf led him to the invention of Telephone.

What is Oralism?

Bell was a proponent of a oralist method ( the system of teaching deaf people to communicate by the use of speech & lip reading rather than sign language).He insisted that deaf students could & should learn to communicate by learning to speak & only using speech to communicate.

How was he instrumental in making a deaf blind girl without any identity in to Helen Keller ?

Helen Keller's parents knew she needed help. Their daughter was trapped in a dark and silent world. They took her to a special eye doctor. They were disappointed when the doctor said that he could not restore Helen's sight.The doctor suggested that they take Helen to meet with Alexander Graham Bell. At their first meeting, Helen climbed into Bell's lap. He graciously allowed her to play with his pocket watch. Helen loved the vibrations it made. He also "listened" to Helen as she spoke to him using her signs. Dr. Bell believed that there was hope for Helen. He encouraged the Kellers to contact the director of the Perkins Institution. He thought that the director might be able to find a teacher for her. Soon, a teacher was found. Her name was Anne Sullivan. Rest is History!

This proves that Alexander Graham Bell was not only proficient at making electronic connections but also connecting people with each other!! Salute to a great inventor, passionate visionary teacher who believed in Inclusion!

Graham Bell Museum