September 11, 2001 Authors To Discuss Laura Bridgman, Pioneer Pupil of Deaf-Blind Education

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Robert Fistick (202) 707-9279

Laura Bridgman (1829-1889), the first deaf-blind child to learn language and a predecessor of Helen Keller by some 60 years, is the subject of a lecture to be held at the Library of Congress at noon, Friday, Sept. 14, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The program is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Sponsored jointly by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress and the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, and moderated by Floyd Matson, professor of American Studies at the University of Hawaii, the program will feature authors Ernest Freeberg and Elisabeth Gitter discussing their new biographies on the life and education of Laura Bridgman.

Mr. Freeberg, an associate professor of the humanities at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire, is the author of The Education of Laura Bridgman: First Deaf and Blind Person to Learn Language (Harvard University Press). Ms. Gitter, professor of English at John Jay College in New York, is the author of The Imprisoned Guest: Samuel Howe and Laura Bridgman, the Original Deaf-Blind Girl (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).

Copies of the featured books will be available for purchase immediately after the panel discussion and authors will be on hand for a book signing.


PR 01-131
ISSN 0731-3527