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American Asylum for the Deaf

Page history last edited by Jillian Ravnell 11 years, 6 months ago

American Asylum for the Deaf

 

     April 15th of 1817 marked an historical event that served to organize deaf education and the history of the deaf in America (Baynton 1996).  On this day, the founding of the first school for the deaf took place.  American Asylum for the Deaf at Hartford, Connecticut was founded by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc. 

     Gallaudet found his love to educate the deaf after witnessing his neighbor Alice Cogswell who became deaf after a childhood illness.  He believed Alice could learn how to communicated if she was given the opportunity to attend school.  Therefore, Gallaudet traveled to Europe to study the methods to teach the deaf.  In the beginning, he sought interest in learning the Braidwood method.  Due to the lack of an agreement between the Braidwood family and himself he was never given the opportunity to learn such method.  As a result, he began learning techniques under Laurent Clerc.  Laurent Clerc was am assistant under Abbe Sicard, the director of the French Institute for the Deaf in Paris.

     Gallaudet and Clerc traveled back to United States on a fifty-five day voyage.  During this time, Gallaudet learned how to sign from Clerc while Clerc learned English from Gallaudet.  Once Gallaudet and Clerc arrived in the United States the first school for the deaf was established, and Clerc acted as head teacher.  Today, ASD continues to educated the deaf and hard of hearing for over 188 years.

 

References

Najarian, C.J. (2006). "Between Worlds" Deaf Women, Work, and Intersections of Gender and Ability.

     New York: Routledge.   

 

Retrieved from www.asd-1817.org on July 1, 2009.

 

Published by Jillian Ravnell on July 3, 2009

 

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