bell actually did quite a lot for the deaf and hearing-impaired. his own mother was deaf, and taught him the standard finger alphabet. his father went a step further and taught him something called visible speech. this was actually meant to show bell how to enunciate words properly, but later on bell used this technique to teach speaking at the boston school for deaf mutes, as well as the clarke school, where his future wife was a student.

bell invented the audiometer, a device to test hearing using different levels in sound intensity, in 1879. today those differences are known as "decibels."

he helped found the american association for the promotion of teaching of speech to the deaf in 1890; after his death this became the alexander graham bell association for the deaf.

bell's influence in the world of the hearing-impaired is made most obvious when one considers that the number of deaf children taught to speak rose from 40% to 80% during his life.

gleaned from "person-to-person," a brochure out of the chazy & westport telephone company office