Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet meets his young neighbor Alice Cogswell
Gallaudet Travels to Europe
I'm so excited!
Gallaudet Meets Sicard and Clerc
Thomas, meet Laurent Clerc. One of my most distinguished pupils.
Thomas was a minister who was often sick. He sympathised with Alice when she saw she couldn't play with the others due to her being deaf. That day he taught her how to write hat in the sand. From there, he decided he wanted to become a teacher for the deaf and with the help of Alice's father,Dr.Cogswell, he was chosen to go to Europe and learn how to teach the deaf so he could come back and open a school.
Lessons at The French National Institute
Langue des Signes Française
After he accepted the offer to go to Europe and learn to teach, Gallaudet traveled to Braidwood Academy to learn how to teach. However, they refused to help him because they enjoyed the monopoly they had over the deaf education. Disgusted, he left the school.
Embarking on a Journey
Once he left Braidwood, he went to a public demonstration held by abbe Sicard.Gallaudet was astounded by how intelligent the deaf, Massieu and Clerc, were. Sicard introduced him to Laurent Clerc, and they invited Gallaudet to the French National Institute. Gallaudet gladly accepted.
The First Deaf School in America
Wow so exciting!
At the institute, Gallaudet was able to learn from master teachers such as Clerc himself. The way they taught included sign, and not oralism like Braidwood. If Gallaudet had learned at Braidwood ASL might not even exist today.
Gallaudet realized there wasn't enough time to master everything he needed to know. With Clerc's offer to help, they convinced Sicard to allow Clerc to go back to the States with Gallaudet on a three year loan to help set up a new school. During the 51 day journey, the two men taught each other their language, English and LSF.
In 1817 Clerc and Gallaudet successfully opened The American Asylum for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons in Hartford, Connecticut. Alice Cogswell was the first student. The curriculum was based on signing, not speech training. The school went on to inspire many other deaf schools to open and is now The American School for the Deaf.