Improving the Lives of So Many: The Invention of Sign Language

Decent Essays
“A day when deaf people and their language are completely accepted-no, more than that, truly welcomed-as a part of the family of man in which god created diversity not to oppress the minority who are different, but to enrich the lives of all.” This important quote from Laurent Clerc shows his opinion on the acceptance of Deaf people in the world. He understood through first hand experience the importance of communication and education for the Deaf community. Eventually with the help of Thomas Gallaudet Sign Language was brought to the US and together the pair helped improve the lives of Deaf people living in the United States. Laurent Clerc was a deaf man from France born on December 26th 1785. He was not born Deaf however; he became Deaf around the age of 1 after falling into a fireplace. This incident left Laurent with a scar on his face. The scar eventually became a part of his name sign which was stroking the letter U down the right cheek. When he was a child he didn’t attend school until the age of 12 when he was enrolled into the Institut National des Jeune Sourds-Muets. The school was run by Abbe Roch Amroise Sicard and his first teacher was Jean Massieu. At the school they taught students to communicate through French Sign Lanugage. Laurent was a very good student but chose not to communicate through speaking. Laurent decided that signing is the best form of communication for Deaf people so he began to teach and demonstrate his methods to other people.
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