History of the creation of the first american sign language school.
By prueheart, Updated
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Thomas Hopkins Galludet
Alice Cogswell was deprived of hearing by a case of "spotted fever". Her parents wanted a good education for her but their only choices in their present situation were to either send her to an asylum, hire a private tutor, or send her to Braidwood Academy, none of which appealed to them.
Galludet sees Alice being excluded from play because of her disability, he then began to attempt teaching Alice how to write the word "hat". After doing so Galludet consults with Alice's father(Dr.Cogswell) about tutoring her. Alice's father thought there had to be other deaf children who had need of education and got a census taken for the number of deaf children in Connecticut, then went to the city fathers and chose Galludet to travel to Europe and learn about educating the deaf.
The American Asylum for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons
Braidwood guards its secrets carefully because of its current monopoly on deaf education. They require that Galludet spend 3-5 years at the academy and pay a certain amount for every student educated using these methods. Galludet refused these conditions calling them "monstrous", then leaving empty-handed.
Effects of the School
After refusing Braidwood, Galludet goes to see a public demonstration about the french method of educating the deaf by the abbé Sicard in London. Two of his star pupils Jean Massieu and Laurent Clerc were demstrating their proficiency in communication which caught Galludet's attention. Galludet was invited to visit the French National Institute(FNI) and when he arrived was greeted warmly and given free access to all classes. Galludet realized he did not have the funds to stay in France and booked passage home, Clerc decided to accompany Galludet back to America, and assist him with his new school.
At first Clerc used FSL, fingerspelling, and methodical signs used at the FNI but afterwards discarded these signs and ASL started to develop into a more distinct language. The school was focused on education rather than vocalizing and signing was a means of communication not asubject at the school.
The effects the school has had on the course of ASL include more deaf and dumb schools being opened across the United States and the formation of a functioning deaf society with small communities such as clubs and press. This period was refered to as the "Golden Age of Deaf Culture".
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