THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — The legendary outspoken activist for the education of deaf children around the world died this week from injuries she suffered from an accident in the parking garage of the Washington, DC condo building she lived in.
Ninety-year-old Frances M. Parson, known as “Peggie” to her friends, lived a long and storied life — both as an educator of the deaf and a world traveler — outliving most of her contemporary colleagues and friends, only to make new ones around the world as she continued to travel and educate.
Following her retirement as a professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, she volunteered at the university’s archives, organizing her 27,000 page collection of books and papers from her life — including the documentation of her visitation of most schools for the deaf around the world. Parsons is solely responsible for the success of thousands of deaf people as she helped turn these schools into producing English literate graduates who could come to Gallaudet then return home to educate their fellow countrymen.
Parsons never back down from her belief that fluency in English was the key to success in educating deaf children. New methods would be proposed and tried but like the tide, they’d come in then go out. With the emergence of the Cochlear Implant, English would once again be the prominent method of educating the deaf. Indeed, when she was almost 80, she got a CI for herself which enabled her to hear sounds again — something she had not been able to do very well since age 5.
Her mind was still sharp, feisty and there’s no doubt she’d easily live another half-dozen years, but at 90, her accomplishments are of legendary stuff. Mere mortals are awarded accolades from Gallaudet after achieving only a fraction of Parson’s accomplishments. Accolades for Parsons are two decades overdue, and now, a bit late. A serious omission exists here. The powers that be at Gallaudet can rectify this.
More on Parson’s life and a call for recognition: https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/gallaudet-university-honorary-degree-nomination-suggestions-larry-g-stewart-and-frances-m-parsons/
THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/
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