How Clerc and Gallaudet Started the First Deaf School

How Clerc and Gallaudet Started the First Deaf School

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  • It is 1815 in London. Thomas Gallaudet is being introduced by a member of Parliament to Laurent Clerc.
  • Thomas, I would like you to meet Laurent.
  • Both men were sympathizers of deaf people. Thomas, impressed with Clerc's skills, made a proposal in 1816.
  • Laurent, I want you to come to come to America and start a a school for the deaf.
  • That sounds like a splendid idea!
  • With a sense of common purpose, they set out on a 52-day voyage to the United States. During the journey, Laurent taught Thomas about signing. 
  • As you can see, it is quite fascinating.
  • Oh, definitely!
  • Laurent and Thomas arrived in Hartford on August 22, 1816.
  • Finally, we are here!
  • That very same day, they met Alice Cogswell a deaf girl who made them even more determined to carry out their mission.
  • She is a bright girl.
  • On April 15, 1817 the first deaf school in America was opened with Alice Cogswell as its first student.
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