Fresno State professor who pioneered deaf education honored by Gallaudet University

Dr. Paul Ogden, a professor emeritus at Fresno State, is known for a groundbreaking book “The Silent Garden” helping parents raise deaf children.

Gallaudet University, the nation’s top university for the education of deaf students, awarded Dr. Paul Ogden an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the university’s 149th commencement on May 17.

Ogden is an author and Emeritus Professor at California State University, Fresno.


Ogden was born deaf to hearing parents, and his first book in 1996, “The Silent Garden: Understanding Your Hearing Impaired Child,” was a groundbreaking tool to aid hearing parents raising a deaf child.  

The Gallaudet University nominating committee said in a statement, “Dr. Ogden is an exemplary example of what it means to be a successful deaf leader who inspires people to pursue their passions so they, too, can be a source of encouragement to others. In other words, his circle of influence continues to widen over the years as the ever-expanding ripples encompass other people affected by his teachings and writings.

In 2008, Ogden helped Fresno State establish The Silent Garden, a program that provides education programs, workshops and resources to deaf and hard of hearing children’s families, teachers, interpreters and professionals in Central California.

Ogden also worked with the California Department of Education to create The SunFlowers in the Silent Garden. The program raises funds to provide a free copy of “The Silent Garden” book to all parents of newly identified deaf infants in California.

Ogden graduated high school as co-valedictorian and the only deaf person in his class. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computers from Antioch College and a master’s and doctoral degrees in educational psychology and deaf education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

In 1995, Fresno State named named Ogden Outstanding Professor of the Year, and the California Educators of the Deaf gave him the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Ogden has taught and mentored thousands of students in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies at Fresno State.

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