• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


A Founding Father- Laurent Clerc

Page history last edited by Whitney Bryant 11 years, 6 months ago

Laurent Clerc


Famous for working with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet to open the first permanent deaf school in America, Laurent Cleac was a French deaf man. He was born December 26, 1785 in France where he attended Royal Institute for the Deaf in Paris. Eighteen years later, he became a teacher there until 1816 when he volunteered to go to America with Gallaudet to open a deaf school. He was the right man for the job. Not only was Clerc skilled in teaching deaf children, he was also the perfect role model and the perfect example of what a Deaf person can become.

            Clerc is considered as one of the founding fathers of the Deaf and sign language in America. It was his influence on American Sign Language that formed it is today. Clerc was in charge of teaching the teachers and offering sign language classes in the newly opened Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb Persons. This sign language was a mixture of Clerc’s manual French adapted to English and his French Sign Language (LSF.) Soon teachers from around the eastern states were coming to learn his language. They then took it back to their school and taught it to their students and fellow teachers. A standard sign language was formed and spared throughout the different schools.   

            Later, Clerc married one of the first students at the Connecticut Asylum, Eliza Boardman. He died in 1816 having a great impact and influence on what we know as the modern day Deaf Culture and American Sign Language.



Figure 1. Image of Laurent Clerc


Bahan, B. Hoffmeister, R. Lane, H. (1996). A Journey into the Deaf-World. San Diego,

CA: Dawn Sign Press


Celebrate Deaf Legacy: National Deaf History Month Kit (2006) Image of Laurent Clarc,

[Online Image]. Retrieved July 2, 2009 from The Red Notebook.




Cleve, J.V.V., & Crouch, B.A.  (1989). A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf

Community in America. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University Press.


Gannon, J.R. (1981.) Deaf Heritage: A Narrative History of Deaf America. Silver

Springs, MD: National Association of the Deaf



Submitted by Whitney Bryant

            July 2, 2009



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.