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His father Wiley was a coal miner and World War I veteran and his mother Veline was a homemaker. When he was 11 years old, both he and his brother contracted spinal meningitis and became deaf.
Growing up he didn’t have access to much education because he was deaf and black.
His passion was to educate the deaf to be literate – to read, write, and sign.
He used the Total Communication method of using sign language, fingerspelling, speech, speech reading, writing, and more.
It was during his time in Michigan that he went to Bethany Pembroke Church every week and learned about missionary work.
School administrators and hearing missionaries told Foster deaf children didn’t exist in Africa.
Shortly after opening the school, it was filled to capacity.
The school housed approximately 80 children, as well as some adults. Foster married a deaf German woman, Berta, in 1961 in Nigeria, they had met at the Third World Congress of the Deaf in 1959. With Berta’s help, Foster established another 29 schools.
Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter.
Brenda is the author of the Dear Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios.Foster trained teachers, taught students, advised government officials about the need for more schools for the deaf, and educated the public about the needs of Deaf Africans.