Although he is best known as the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell actually devoted much more of this life to helping people who were deaf or hard of hearing, especially children. Bell’s mother… Read More »How Did Bell Help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing?
In 1887, a newspaper editor in Alabama, Arthur Keller, was told he should put his deaf and blind daughter Helen, a “wild little creature” of six, into an asylum, as so often happened with deaf… Read More »What Was Bell’s Relationship to Helen Keller?
In 1879, Bell invented the audiometer to measure the amount of a person’s hearing loss. It was the first device designed to measure different levels of sound, and is the reason that sound is now… Read More »What Devices Did Bell Invent to Help the Deaf?
In his lifetime of work with the deaf, Bell hoped they could be as integrated as possible with the hearing world and emphasized speech therapy and lip reading for the deaf over signing. This became… Read More »How Are Signing and the Oral Method Different?
No. Long before Bell was an inventor, he was a noted teacher of the deaf. Bell taught sign language as a young teacher of the deaf, and sometimes signed with his mother and later with his… Read More »Did Bell Discourage the Use of Sign Language?
No. In an 1891 speech about heredity to a group of deaf students at what is now Gallaudet University in Washington, DC titled, Marriage, An Address To The Deaf, Bell was quick to note that “You yourselves are… Read More »Did Bell Want to Restrict the Rights of Deaf People to Marry?
Yes. During his lifetime, Bell was a fierce and vocal advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing. As the son and husband of a deaf person and a teacher of people who are deaf… Read More »Would Bell be an advocate of the deaf today?
No. Bell was not a proponent of human engineering. Bell had an interest in the burgeoning science of genetics and heredity stemming from the work of Charles Darwin, whose groundbreaking research was published in 1859. In… Read More »Was Bell a Proponent of Eugenics and the Practice of Human Engineering?
Yes. Even the simplest mechanics of genetics were misunderstood at the turn of the 19th Century. Most scientists believed that traits such as deafness were hereditary and that the chances of children being born deaf were… Read More »Did Others at the Time Oppose Marriage of the Deaf?