-How ASL came to America- Gallaudet Meets Alice Cogswell
I have to help her communicate!
Gallaudet speaks with Mason Cogswell
Thomas decides to speak with Alice's father, Mason Cogswell...
I truly believe Alice can communicate! Will you pay for me to go to England to learn how to teach her?
Gallaudet Arrives at Braidwood
This isn't the place for me!
You cannot share any of our methods!
You must stay for 5 years!
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a missionary, notices Alice playing. Upon realizing she is deaf, he attempts to communicate with her by writing in the dirt. To his surprise, she understood. From then on, Thomas was intent on helping this young girl to communicate.
Gallaudet goes to Paris
Thomas asks Mason Cogswell for permission to study in England to learn the best way to teach deaf people. Cogswell is more than willing to provide funds for Gallaudet's trip, knowing his daughter will benefit greatly.
Gallaudet and Clerc Share their Languages
Gallaudet arrives at Braidwood, and sadly, it wasn't all that it seemed. The school was very expensive and elite. They were one of the leaders in deaf education at the time, and their teaching methods were kept very secret, allowing them to profit the most. The school was very strict and had specific boundaries in place.
The first school for the Deaf in America
The American Asylum for the Deaf Dumb and Mute
After deciding that Braidwood was not the best choice, Gallaudet sees a flyer for a class in Paris where the instructor would be introducing two of his Deaf students who became fully educated with his help. After attending the lecture he begins taking more classes from the professor, Sicard. It is during these classes he becomes friends with one of the students who was mentioned in the lecture, Laurent Clerc.
I want to learn!
Soon it is time for Galladuet to return to America, and he invites his friend, Clerc to return with him. Clerc is happy to oblige and they take a boat together. During the long ride, Clerc teaches French Sign Language to Gallaudet, who in return teaches Clerc to read and write in english.
Upon returning to America in 1817, Cogswell, Clerc, and Gallaudet co-founded the first school for the deaf in America in Hartford, Connecticut. The school, formerly known as The American Asylum for the Deaf Dumb and Mute, has since been renamed to the American School for the Deaf. Clerc worked as a teacher there, making him the first Deaf teacher in America. Alice Cogswell was one of the first students to attend the school.