Famous Deaf People

A person in the deaf community or anyone else in need of inspiration may want to look at the lives of some of well-known people in history who dealt with deafness. Each person has his or her story filled with the challenges that come with being deaf, as well as how they dealt with those challenges. Famous deaf people have excelled in many different vocations and pursuits. The following are just a few examples of some famous people in history who dealt with deafness.

The first deaf person we will discuss is a well-known figure in deaf culture. Helen Keller lost her hearing, as well as her sight, in 1882, when she was approximately two years old. She had suffered an illness and her parents slowly came to accept that it had left behind lasting damage. After a few years, Helen’s parents realized that they didn’t have the knowledge to teach Helen what she needed to be taught. The family needed someone who specialized in deaf education as well as education for the blind. Consequently, they hired a teacher named Anne Sullivan. Anne Sullivan was responsible for teaching Helen words by finger-spelling the letters into Helen’s palm. Anne led Helen to the tremendous discovery that the words she was learning were all connected with physical objects. One of the most important qualities possessed by this well-known individual in the deaf community was her persistence. Despite her physical challenges, she graduated from college, which was something that very few women did at that time. She wrote several books and hosted speaking engagements with the help of her teacher, Anne. With assistance, Helen Keller traveled and met dignitaries as well as presidents. In short, this famous person with deafness never let her physical challenges stop her from fulfilling her dreams.

Ludwig van Beethoven is another notable person in history with deafness. He was a gifted 18th century German composer of classical music who began to lose his hearing in his late 20’s. Like many deaf people through history, he felt isolated for a time and avoided his friends because he missed a lot of the conversation. Fortunately, Beethoven made the momentous decision in his life not to allow his deafness to stop him from creating the music he loved. Deaf people and others have a lot to admire in this individual who went on to create many memorable and inspiring musical works.

There are countless other well-known names of people in the deaf community who have accomplished a great deal. For example, actress Marlee Matlin is a deaf individual who won an Oscar for her acting in 1986. Many aspects of deaf culture have come to light through the stories of deaf individuals, like Matlin, in the entertainment industry. Another famous member of the deaf community is Heather Whitestone who won the title of Miss America in 1995. Her story also revealed more about deaf culture to people interested in her life story and experiences with deaf education. Deaf people who see the successes of individuals like Matlin and Whitestone can’t help but be inspired by what they have achieved. The stories of famous deaf people throughout the centuries can give a tremendous amount of encouragement to those in need of inspiration.