History of ASL

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  • In 1807, Alice Cogswell became deaf at the age of 2.She was not taught sign language until she later enrolled in The American School for the Deaf.
  • Her neighbor, Thomas Gallaudet, met her and became interested in educating deaf people like her.
  • Gallaudet Travels to England, However they refuse to tell him any of their secrets.
  • Gallaudet then travels to France where he meets a Deaf man named Laurent Clerc. Clerc became deaf after an accident as a toddler where he fell into a fireplace.
  • Clerc agrees to join Gallaudet in his travel back to America. On the way they teach eachother their languages.
  • MVSL is a sign language created in Martha's Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts with a large Deaf population. 
  • Together they create The American School for the Deaf in 1817. This school begins the creation of ASL by combining FSL and MVSL.
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