Signs in Oklahoma and Ellensburg
When Roger and Deborah Fouts were married in 1964 they could not have known about the journey they were about to undertake. They were students at Long Beach State, and both of them wanted to work with children. However, 2 years later Roger found himself being interviewed by Allen Gardner at the University of Nevada in Reno, as a potential research assistant to work with the young Washoe while Roger pursued his Ph.D. in psychology.1 Roger was sure that the interview had been a disaster and that he had no chance to get the assistantship he had to have to survive—until Allen took him, as a kind of consolation prize, to see Washoe. She leapt into Roger’s arms and gave him a giant hug, something that Roger never again saw her do with a stranger. Washoe had hired Roger! More than 35 years later, she still has not fired him. That central fact has directed the Foutses’ lives.
KeywordsSign Language American Sign Solitary Confinement Captive Chimpanzee Juvenile Chimpanzee
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