my name is Laurent Clerc. I was born in France in 1785.
When I was 1, I fell into a fire and lost my hearing and sense of smell
At the age of 12 I begain studying at the Royal Institution for the Deaf in Paris
After graduating, I was hired to teach there, which is where I met an American man named Thomas Gallaudet, who had traveled to Europe in hopes of finding a way to educate Deaf people, as America had no signing system
After three months of teaching him French Sign Language, I agreed to travel to America with him to help set up the American Signing and Education System
The year after we arrived, we opened a school for the Deaf in Hartford Connecticut. Although I had intended to return to France, I never did, and spent the rest of my life teaching Deaf students a version of French Signing that morphed into what is now known as American Sign Language