Education For Deaf People
There were many reasons why the history of deaf education has changed over time. One of the most influential people who helped make deaf education the way it is today is Thomas Galludet. Thomas Galluadet brought oral and sign language back to America. He helped develop American Sign Language. He also made the very first school for the deaf in the United States of America. It all started when he wanted to help a little girl who was deaf, Alice Cogswell. Alice Cogswell was born deaf and nobody had no idea how to communicate with her. She had no education and did not even know any form of communication because no one knew how to teach her. He wanted to help find a way to make it so Alice could read, speak, and communicate like any hearing person. He changed her life and hundreds of other peoples’. Thomas Galludet also brought back Laurent Clerc to help teach at Galludet University.
Laurent Clerc was a French man who came to America to help teach the deaf with Thomas Galludet. He was born hearing but he was injured and that injury caused him to lose his hearing. He went to a school for the deaf in Paris and later became a teacher. Laurent Clerc met Thomas Galludet while Thomas Galludet was in France trying to figure out ways and methods to teach the deaf in America. Thomas asked Laurent Clerc if he would accompany him back to America to help teach the hard of hearing. Laurent Clerc agreed to come back to America but he was only going to stay there for a couple months. He ended up staying there for the rest of his life. He also ended up teaching many deaf children and adults. He also taught numerous hearing men sign language. He helped give deaf people the chance to be able to communicate and be educated like hearing people.
Another individual that helped deaf people immensely was Alexander Graham Bell. He invented another method to help deaf people learn how to speak. Alexander Graham Bell was also one of the dozen people who gave their points about deaf education at the Milan Conference. He wanted to use oral methods instead of using sign language. He felt like that was the superior method to use. He also invented the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell also was the one who convinced the law to be changed where American Sign Language was banned and you were to only teach oral methods.
The Milan Conference was a meeting that changed deaf education in a significant way. The Milan Conference took place in Italy in 1880. The purpose of the Milan Conference was to determine if sign language was actually useful and helpful. A dozen speakers were there to tell their point of view on deaf education. Alexander Graham Bell was one of the dozen speakers there. After, the conference decided that oral methods was the superior method of teaching and that they would ban sign language from being taught in schools. Therefore sign language had to be taught and signed in secret.
Another very important person who greatly impacted deaf education was William Stokoe. William Stokoe was a professor at Galludet University. William Stokoe was also known as the father of sign language because he proposed and acknowledged that sign language was not a corrupt version of English but it was its own language. William Stokoe brought sign language back into deaf education after it had been banned. He wanted to find a descriptive way to sign signs that could be used in public. He also published many books and wrote the American Sign Language dictionary. He made it possible for deaf people to be able to use sign language.
Many people helped change deaf education to the way we know it now. With the combined methods and techniques that were invented deaf people can live a normal life. They can be educated and then can communicate with the hearing. Deaf education has changed greatly over time.