Alice Cogswell was a deaf child that lived next to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, who at the time was a priest, he saw the language less girl and he decided to go to France to learn how to teach deaf children.
On The Boat Back
While in France, he visited Braidwood, a school for the deaf, to learn how to teach deaf children. They refused to teach him unless he paid an outrageous amount of money, he then went to a public demonstration on how to educate the deaf.
While in France, Gallaudet met deaf man named Laurent Clerc, who helped him learn French sign language, when Gallaudet had to go back to the US, Clerc volunteered to go with him so he could learn more about sign language.
On the boat back to America, Gallaudet tutored Clerc on English, and Clerc taught him French sign language, once back, Gallaudet introduced Clerc to Alice, they raise funds and open The American Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb Persons.
After teaching for a bit, the students started to alter his signs, they mixed the FRench signs along with signs used in Marthas Vineyard, along with there own way of signing, this gave way to ASL becoming a more distinct language.
Edward Miner Gallaudet, Thomas's oldest son, founded what is today known as Gallaudet University, which helped the deaf learn a way to communicate, and even though ASL wasn't recognized as a language until over 100 years later, it still made it more known.