(1822–1902) Thomas Gallaudet was the eldest son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Sophia Fowler, a deaf woman who had been a pupil at the Gallaudet School. Growing up near the school founded by his father, he learned sign language at an early age and eventually devoted his life to ministering to deaf people. Gallaudet graduated from Washington College in 1842 and began his career teaching at the New York Institution for the Deaf. Later he converted to the Episcopal Church and was ordained a priest in 1851. In 1850, while studying for the priesthood, he began a Bible class for deaf people at St. Stephen's Church in New York City, and in 1852 he established St. Ann's Church for Deaf Mutes, conducting regular services in sign language. In addition to his parish duties, Gallaudet founded the Gallaudet Home for aged and infirm deaf-mutes near Poughkeepsie, New York.
From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Social Work.