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People - Vinton Cerf

Hard of Hearing Father of Internet

By

Updated August 28, 2010

Parents of hard of hearing children do not need to look any further for a successful business role model than Vinton Cerf.

Cerf first gained recognition for his contributions to the development of what came to be known as the internet. He is routinely referred to as "the father of the internet," having helped to found the Arpanet in the early 1970s, a forerunner of today's internet. As part of that development, he co-designed the TCP/IP protocol for internet communication. His frustration with communication with other researchers reportedly was one of the motivations for his work to develop internet communications protocols.

His wife, Sigrid, whom he met at a hearing aid instrument practioners office, is deaf and the recipient of a cochlear implant. Previously on the board of Gallaudet University, Cerf has demonstrated sensitivity to the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students through actions such as supporting computer-building programs for deaf students.

Vinton Cerf's career is not over yet, and already this hard of hearing man (hearing impaired since birth) has:

  • Chaired the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
  • Held high-level positions at MCI Worldcom, where he is a senior vice president responsible for internet technology.
  • Received an award from President Clinton for his role in developing the internet.

It is hard to know what Vinton Cerf will be best remembered for, as his accomplishments are so numerous. Cerf had his own section within the MCI WorldCom web site, "Cerf's Up." Cerf is in heavy demand as a speaker, and has published over 50 technical articles.

Cerf was hired by Google in 2005. At Google, Cerf is responsible for exploring new internet applications. His title at Google is "chief Internet evangelist."

The deaf and hard of hearing community has recognized Vinton Cerf often over the years. He has been the recipient of an award from Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and has been featured in HIP Magazine (issue 6.5). In the late 80s and early 90s', he was on the board of the Fairfax Resource Center for the Hearing Impaired, now the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons.

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