Yes..I will fund for you to go to Europe to help her.
Yes she is. Her name is Alice.
I wish I could play with someone!
Gallaudet Goes to England
Can you help me find a way to communicate with the deaf?
No! It is a secret! In order for us to teach you that, you have to attend our academy for atleast a few years and pay the fees!
Gallaudet Attends a Lecture
Wow! That method is so impressive! I want to know more!
One day, Gallaudet sees his next door neighbor, a little girl named Alice Cogswell playing alone. Puzzled, he wonders why she is so isolated. He finds out that she is actually deaf and has no way of communicating with friends. This piques his interest and his desperation grows to come up with a solution for her and many others to have a means of communication. Mason Cogswell funds a trip to Europe for Thomas Gallaudet to help her.
We will teach each other our languages! ASL and English!
Gallaudet hears that a family in England, the Braidwood family, knows of an effective communication method. He pays them a visit, and gets an abrupt answer that he has to attend their academy for a few years before they even let him in on their "secret".
American School for the Deaf Established
The school came out great!
American School for the Deaf
Yes! Now we can teach deaf children Sign Language!
Gallaudet attends a demonstration of a new method where priests would sign questions and the deaf audience would respond by writing on large boards. There, he meets Laurent Clerc and Jean Massieu. Both of them are very educated with the method and are graduates of the school in which the demonstration was hosted. He wants to know more about them, and takes a trip to France with them.
Aftermath of the Deaf School
Laurent Clerc decided to travel to America with Gallaudet to help establish a school for deaf children. Along the way, he learned written English in the amount of time that it took the ship to America.
The American School for the Deaf was established in Hartford, CT in 1817. The original name was called the "American Asylum at Hartford for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb". It established the method of Sign Language, but didn't teach pure French Sign Language.
Today, students and members of the deaf culture look back upon Gallaudet and those who helped him. Without his effort, or his keen cognative skills of noticing Alice, of Mason Cogswell funding his journey, or Laurent Clerc being so willing to learn and help, then perhaps today the deaf world may not be advanced as it is now. The establishment of the school created the beginning of modern ASL. ASL has approximately 60% old French Sign and 40% Indigenous Sign.