I want Alice to receive an education, but I don't know how since there is no schools for the deaf here.
Gallaudet Meets Clerc
Let's make this school happen!
Coming to America
We want to help!
On August 31, 1805, Alice Cogswell, Mason Fitch Cogswell's deaf daughter, was born. Cogswell and his neighbor Gallaudet were equally concerned for Alice's education because there were no schools for the deaf in the United States. However, the two of them were able to gain enough support from wealthy community members to send Gallaudet to Europe to learn about education for the deaf.
The First School is Established
We did it!
Yay! Now I can learn, just like everyone else!
In London, a member of the Parliament introduces Gallaudet to Sicard, a French teacher of the deaf, who then introduces him to his chief assisstant Laurent Clerc. Clerc was not only a deaf educator, but he was also deaf himself. Gallaudet, in awe of Clerc's teaching methods, requests him to return to America with him to help him constitute a deaf school. Sicard reluntantly allows Clerc to leave but only for three years.
How American Sign Language Came To Be
This is how the deaf community here, including myself, sign!
How interesting! We sign like this in France.
On June 18, 1816, Clerc and Gallaudet begin their fifty-two day long journey to America. Once they returned, they began to notify the public of the lack of education for the deaf through speeches and demonstrations in New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, and other locations in an attempt to raise money for the cause, obtaining a good $12,000. The Connecticut General Assembly even gave the first ever approbation of education for the handicapped by donating a whopping $5,000.
The Aftermath (it's Good)
The Connecticut Asylum at Hartford for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb Persons, the first school that offered education for the deaf in America, was able to open on April 15, 1817. It was co-founded by Laurent Clerc, the main teacher, and Gallaudet, the principal.
Thank you for helping this cause!
This very much affected the course of American Sign Language. Laurent Clerc, being from France, taught French Sign Language in The Connecticut Asylum at Hartford for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb Persons which ended up being mixed with the local sign dialect of Martha's vineyard to form what is now known as American Sign Language.
Thanks to the minds of Cogswell, Gallaudet, and Clerc, education for the deaf was now a possibility in America. After the first school's opening in 1817, many other schools were modeled after it in New York, Philadelphia, even in Quebec Canada! People were beginning to see that deaf people are just as capable as anyone else, and sign language was finally beginning to be accepted.