History of ASL

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  • In the 1600's a deaf man from England named Jonathan Lambert came to America and shared his signs. This later became known as Martha's Vineyard sign language.
  • At Martha's Vineyard, an island off of Massachusetts, everyone signed. Even the hearing. Around every 1 in 25 were deaf.
  • In France when Laurent Clerc was a toddler, he fell from his high chair and burned the side of his face. That is what is believed to make him deaf
  • In Connecticut, Thomas Gallaudet, who is hearing, tried teaching Alice Cogswell, who is deaf, a word by putting a hat on the ground and wrote HAT to try and teach her.
  • HAT
  • By: Chloe and Emma
  • Thomas then went to England to learn their oral methods of teaching people who are deaf but got denied, so he then went to France to learn their signing methods and brought back to America Laurent Clerc.
  • On their voyage together, Clerc taught Gallaudet sign and Gallaudet taught Clerc English
  • In order to create the school, funding was needed for its creation.  
  • The Connecticut General Assembly donated $5,000 in support of its creation. This was the first ever approximation towards the funding of people classified as handicapped during this time.
  • On April 15, 1817, the Connecticut Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb open, but was later named the American School for the Deaf. 
  • Alice Cogswell was the first student to enroll.
  • People from around America, especially Martha's Vineyard, came to attend this school. 
  • ASL became composed of MVSL and FSL, with around 60% of ASL having French correlations.
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