Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Chuck Baird

Chuck Baird was born deaf in Kansas City and along with his 3 older sisters, went to the Kansas School for the Deaf. After an art residency at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, he moved to San Diego in 1992 to work for DawnSignPress as an in-house artist, and painted a number of new Deaf-related works, culminating in the book, “Chuck Baird, 35 Plates.” Chuck Baird had his first major exhibition at the World Federation of the Deaf Conference in Washington DC in 1975.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Douglas Tilden

Douglas Tilden was born on 1 May, 1861and died on 5 August, 1935. Douglas Tilden was a world-famous deaf sculptor who went to the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley, California. Many detect a certain homoeroticism in his works because they feature young athletic men who are often unclothed. In the Football Players, many people have noted that the scene of 2 young football players, one is injured and resting on the shoulder of another, and the other is tenderly bandaging the wounds, shows the intimate male bonding in sports as of interdependence between the players.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Trix Bruce

Trix Bruce has been profoundly deaf since she was 6 months old. Trix Bruce went through oral, mainstreaming, deaf classes, and online educational programs. Through her performances, deaf and hearing audiences learn about the “deaf culture” in an entertaining way and somehow discover that the hearing and the deaf communities have more in common than what is commonly thought. “I am just proud to be who I am,” says Trix Bruce. “I made the right decisions and have followed my heart … I am proud to be known as a deaf actor.”

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Hearing Impairment-Disabled Legend Laurent Clerc

Laurent Clerc was born on 26 December 1785 in La Balme, France and died on 18 July 1869 in Hartford, Connecticut, United States at the age of 83. Laurant Clerc was called “The Apostle of the deaf in America” and “The Father of the Deaf” by generations of American deaf people. With Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, he co-founded the first school for the deaf in North America, the Hartford Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb on 15 April, 1817 in the old Bennet’s City Hotel, Hartford, Connecticut. Laurent Clerc’s name sign would become the best known and most recognisable name sign in American deaf history and Laurent Clerc became the most renowned deaf person in American history.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Julia Brace

Julia Brace was born on 13 June 1807 in Hartford County, Connecticut and died on 12 August, 1884 in Bloomfield, Connecticut at the age of 77. Julia Brace was buried in an unmarked grave in the West Hill Cemetery.

Julia Brace was born to a poor family, and became deafblind at the age of 5 from typhus fever. During her childhood she was described as independent, inquisitive and feisty. Although she wasn’t given much formal instruction, she did acquire tactile American Sign Language from the resident deaf students and staff at the Hartford school. Despite being the only blind person there, she became a part of the school community, forming friendships (and enmities). Julia Brace began to be seen as something of a celebrity and received many curious visitors over time.

Julia Brace gradually stopped speaking and developed a system of home sign that she used with her parents. Julia Brace was sent to a boarding school with hearing and sighted children before being offered a place at the Hartford Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (now called the American School for the Deaf), where she enrolled on 11 June 1825, 2 days before her 18th birthday.

During her childhood she was described as independent, inquisitive and feisty. Although she wasn’t given much formal instruction, she did acquire tactile American Sign Language from the resident deaf students and staff at the Hartford school. Despite being the only blind person there, she became a part of the school community, forming friendships (and enmities), fulfilling communal duties, and developing skills in sewing and knitting. Julia Brace began to be seen as something of a celebrity and received many curious visitors — although these regular interruptions to her daily activities apparently annoyed her and she wasn’t afraid, on occasion, to make her displeasure known.

Samuel Gridley Howe, educator from the Perkins School for the Blind, began instructing the 7 year old deafblind Laura Bridgman, after meeting Julia Brace during a visit to the Hartford school around 1837. After 4 years and much success with his young pupil, Samuel Gridley Howe returned to Hartford in 1841, bringing her with him. Although Julia Brace was 34 years old, Samuel Gridley Howe thought he would also like to attempt to instruct her in the English language as he had Bridgman. On 6 April, 1842 Julia Brace enrolled as a student of the Perkins School.

Samuel Gridley Howe’s ‘experiment’, however, proved less successful than he had hoped, as Julia Brace clearly preferred to communicate in sign language, and she returned to the Hartford school after a year, where she continued to board until 1860. Julia Brace left the school to take up residence with her sister in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

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