ASL History

ASL History

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  • Alice Cogswell
  • I shall build a school for all people like Alice!
  • HAT
  • Braidwood
  • We want money for our services.
  • Well your not getting mine.
  • Laurent Clerc
  • You must come back with me to America so we can teach more deaf people.
  • Yes! Of course!
  • Gallaudet saw how Alice was struggling to play with other children because she was deaf, so he called her over to show her how to write the word hat. Alice successfully understood and wrote the word hat proving to Gallaudet that Alice was very intelligent. This led to conversation between Gallaudet and Alice's father to which Gallaudet suggested he should build a school for all children like Alice. So Gallaudet decided to go to Europe to learn about sign language.
  •    The Ride Home
  • Wow... This is hard.
  • First, Gallaudet visited Braidwood to observe and learn their ways of teaching which mostly consisted of oralism. Braidwood eager to preserve their monopoly told Gallaudet that he would have to pay Braidwood ( a lot of money) for every student he taught back in America. Gallaudet refused because the price was ridiculous considering the results of the education at Braidwood. He left in search of something else.
  • The American Asylum for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons
  • WE DID IT!!
  • In France, in a town square Gallaudet saw Laurent Clerc and Jean Massieu giving a public demonstration of sign language. Gallaudet saw this opportunity and was invited to French National Institute to learn how to teach the deaf. After not making much progress and having dwindiling funds, Gallaudet decided to head back to America. To his surprise, Laurent Clerc decided to go to America with Gallaudet to open a school for the deaf.
  • ASL
  • Why are they changing the signs. Nevermind it's cooler this way.
  • On the way back to America, which took 51 days Clerc taught Gallaudet LSF (French Sign Language). In return Gallaudet tutored (not taught) Clerc in English.
  • In 1817, Gallaudet and Clerc established the first deaf school in Amercia called the American Asylum for the Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons. Alice Cogswell was the first student admitted to the school. The sign language they taught at this school was a mixture of LSF, fingerspelling, and methodical signs.
  • Students began to change the signs slightly as to adapt to their own preferences or combine Clerc's signs with a dialect they already knew. Clerc ultimately discarded the methodical signs and what we know today as ASL was born. If not for Clerc's LSF and the Martha Vineyard dialect ASL would be completely different then it would be today. This is the story of how ASL came to be.
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