First deaf school in America

First deaf school in America

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  • When Laurent Clerc was almost one, he fell from a highchair into a fire that burned his face. He developed a fever and he was soon damaged his hearing and sense of smell. He ended up going to school 11 years after the incident due to there being no way for a deaf child to learn.
  • I went to the first deaf school in the world when I was 12 years old. This school was called Institut National des Jeune Sourds-Muets
  • A man named Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet wanted to learn more about deaf teachings so he traveled to France. Where, he was introduced to a man named Sicard, who introduced him to Clerc. Gallaudet, fascinated by the language, asked Clerc if he would teach him. Clerc did and Gallaudet soon asked Clerc if he would like to come teach in America.
  • While on the way there, Clerc taught me even more signs.The voyage we were on lasted 52 days.
  • Gallaudet became Clerc's interpreter in the classroom area. Clerc would sign speeches about their goals of teaching sign language to deaf children. The only thing standing in their way was finances.  They ended up raising $12,000 from the public and received an additional $5,000 from the Connecticut General Assembly.
  • This means we had some funding and support for our school.
  • On April 15th, 1817 the first student was enrolled at the new school of the deaf. Her name was Alice Cogswell. 
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