With the National Week of Deaf People looming around the corner (15th – 21st October!) today I thought I’d post something a little bit different. To help celebrate and admire the Deaf community and its culture, I thought I’d write about some of the inspiring, incredible and extremely talented people who have been a part of it throughout history. From musicians to scientists, actors to activists, the colourful community has a vast array of achievements almost as diverse as the people who make up the culture itself.
- Thomas Edison – Inventor, scientist, entrepreneur! After suffering from Scarlet Fever as a child, Thomas was almost completely deaf – though never fear, he felt this helped him focus better as a scientist and helped lead to one of the handiest inventions of all time, the electric light bulb.
- Ludwig van Beethoven – Undeniably one of the most significant and influential songwriters, pianists, musicians and lyricists of all time and also completely deaf by age 40!
- Marlee Matlin – Actor, film producer and winner of an Academy Award for her brilliant performance in Children of a Lesser God.
- Helen Keller – The first Deaf-Blind person to obtain a Bachelor of arts degree! Incredible pacifist, lecturer and author who defied all odds and inspired the lives of many in her determination, intelligence and eloquence.
- Linda Bove – Actress on Sesame Street. Worked to introduce all children to sign language in an engaging and entertaining way!