Saturday, May 15, 2010

Statement of Purpose

My purpose is to share information about the Tadoma Method and Tad Chapman who was the first to use the method exclusively to communicate throughout his lifetime. Tad was consistently compared with Helen Keller throughout his lifetime and, to this day, if I tell someone he was blind and deaf I get a response of "Oh, like Helen Keller". His achievements, however, were very different from hers. Tad achieved a normal life away from the spotlight. In his youth he was put in front of audiences to demonstrate the Tadoma Method and to show that someone who is deaf-blind can live a productive life. In his young adulthood his parents became aware that this was affecting the quality of his life and they sought other alternatives and goals. It is my hope that by sharing his story I can bring to light his germinal contribution to the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as introduce today's families with deaf-blind children to possibilities they may not have previously considered.

Currently, it is my plan to let the letters and newspaper articles speak for themselves by scanning and/or transcribing the letters that my grandfather wrote as he searched for answers and sought support as well as the responses to his inquiries. My grandfather, Winthrop Severance Chapman, kept carbon copies on onionskin sheets (usually half sheets) of all the letters he wrote - or at least all the letters he wrote regarding my uncle. I may or may not comment upon them. I'm not a writer. I was formerly a word processor and copy editor, so discovering my "voice" as a writer may be part of this process. I DO RESERVE ALL RIGHTS TO THE MATERIAL SHARED HERE. It is my intention to publish the contents in some form, perhaps a book, in the future, so please regard the material as copyright.

1 comment:

  1. I am Christine Chapman-Lomonaco. I have Edna Chapman's photo albums. Lots of Tad photos. I also helped Edna take care of Tad when he was living in San Gabriel. Please send me your email address and I will start to send you all the info/photos I have. I would like to start a dialog on the family. My email is