Alexander Graham Bell a Villain?

by Christi

(Charleston, WV)

This article was very interesting to read. I would have to say my favorite person is Abbe de L’Epee. In reading his story I can see that he truly was a follower of Christ. Christ is our example and Christ became a servant to mankind and gave his life that we could be saved. Abbe de L’Epee must have truly sacrificed his life in order to accomplish all that he did for the deaf. He became a servant to the deaf. His life would be a good example to anyone that feels a call to deaf ministry.

I somewhat disagree with your statements regarding Alexander Graham Bell. Perhaps it is my positive attitude but to say he really tried to damage the lives of deaf people is a bit slanderous. Surely he must have thought he was doing something good for the deaf. Mr. Bell did not have a clear understanding of the deaf which can easily happen when you are outside looking in. That is why deaf people need deaf representatives or at the very least a hearing person that will truly “hear” them.

Also, to say oralism is wrong for all deaf people is a very broad statement. Some very successful deaf people have used oralism which probably somewhat contributed to their success. Although I would imagine learning with the oralism method would be very difficult for a deaf person. If I had a deaf child I would want them to have every access to education possible and considering that they are in a hearing world that speaks English (if you live in America) any method that would allow them to understand the English language would be beneficial.

I do agree however that to deny the deaf the use of sign language is tragic. ASL is a beautiful language and a very efficient means of communication. I really enjoyed the article and the chance to share my opinion. This is just my opinion from the outside looking into a fascinating culture.

Comments for Alexander Graham Bell a Villain?

Nov 22, 2011

Support Deaf Awareness

by: Anonymous


I looked the definition for an “Audist” and I was disappointed to hear the negativity about deafness. I totally agree that if a person can be helped in oralism that they should go for it. But at the same time those who are deaf should be given credit for what they have accomplished. Being deaf in a hearing world is difficult as it is. That is why I am all for total communication which includes oral and sign language. With the high rate of hearing loss and the high cost of hearing aids is it any wonder that people are perplexed about which way to go. With the large number of those who have hearing loss that are not getting much benefit from hearing aids, sign language goes a long way in helping to improve one’s lifestyle. In many schools, learning a second language is mandatory. Why not let sign language be that second language? Sign language can be taught to those who are still in the cradle. We need to face up to the fact that this world in in need of Sign Language Interpreters. What better way to begin than right at the cradle.


Nov 21, 2011

Great Submission!

by: Michelle Jay – Webmaster


Thank you for your great submission! I really enjoyed reading it.

I just wanted to clear up a couple things:

1. Did you read the article on Alexander Graham Bell? You can access it here: https://www.start-american-sign-language.com/alexander-graham-bell.html. I suggest reading that article. It explains what he did and even acknowledges what you said about him being on the outside looking in.

2. The article doesn’t say oralism is wrong for all deaf people. You’re right, that would be incorrect. The article states, “[The NAD] gained a lot of support and maintained the use of sign language as they argued that oralism isn’t the right educational choice for all deaf people.” This is saying that oralism isn’t right for ALL deaf people–which is what oralism supporters believed. However, it may be the right choice for some. I guess the English could be a little more clear. 🙂

Great submission!

God bless,

Michelle Jay


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