museum6

 

  Deaf History, Europe

                    Work in Progress!

1000 BC - 1700, 1700 - 1800, 1800 - 1900, 1900 - 2000, 2000 - Now


1000 BC - 1700

1000 BC: Hebrew  Law: Deaf rights denied

1000 BC: Hebrew Law: Deaf rights denied

In Jewish legislation deaf and dumb persons are frequently classed with minors and idiots.

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800 BC - 146 BC: Ancient Greece

800 BC - 146 BC: Ancient Greece

The Greeks felt it was better to kill anyone with a disability.

The deaf were especially considered a burden in Athens, where it was believed that anyone who would be a "burden to society" should be put to death.

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470 - 399 BC: Socrates:

470 - 399 BC: Socrates: "The deaf express themselves in gestures..."

Socrates mentions that the deaf express themselves in gestures movement.

 

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+/- 5 BC: Quintus Pedius, Painter (IT)

+/- 5 BC: Quintus Pedius, Painter (IT)

Quintus Pedius (died about 13) was a Roman painter and the first deaf person in recorded history known by name. He is the first recorded deaf painter and his education is the first recorded education of a deaf child. All that is known about him today is contained in a single passage of the Natural History by the Roman author Pliny the Elder.

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1454 - 1513: Pinturicchio, Painter (IT)

1454 - 1513: Pinturicchio, Painter (IT)

Bernardino di Betto, known also as Pintoricchio, was born between 1456 and 1460 in Perugia to a modest family of artisans. His real name was Betti Biagi, but he was often called Sordicchio, from his deafness and insignificant appearance, but Pinturicchio was his usual name.

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Dark and Middle Ages: Objects of Ridicule

Deaf adults are objects of ridicule and are committed to asylums.

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1500s: Geronimo Cardano: Deaf people are capable of using their minds (IT)

1500s: Geronimo Cardano: Deaf people are capable of using their minds (IT)

Geronimo Cardano was the first physician to recognize the ability of the deaf to reason.

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1520 - 1584: Pedro Ponce de León, the first teacher of the deaf (ES)

1520 - 1584: Pedro Ponce de León, the first teacher of the deaf (ES)

Dom Pedro Ponce de Leon, O.S.B., (1520–1584) was a Spanish Benedictine monk who is often credited as being "the first teacher for the deaf".

His work with deaf children focused on helping them to learn how to speak language audibly. He also instructed children in writing and in simple gestures.

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1526 – 1579: Juan Fernandez Navarrete, Painter (ES)

1526 – 1579: Juan Fernandez Navarrete, Painter (ES)

Juan Fernandez de Navarrete was born in the beautiful town of Navarre, Spain near the mountain range of the Pyrenees. He was called El Mudo (the mute) since childhood. He lost his hearing at the age of three and never learned to talk.

Juan's amazing drawings skills became evident when he began communicating his needs by drawing them out with charcoal on paper. The young artist never allowed his disabilities to hamper his dreams or ambitions and allowed his art to become his voice.

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1585-1634, Hendrick Avercamp, Painter (NL)

1585-1634, Hendrick Avercamp, Painter (NL)

Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634) was one of the first Dutch landscape painters of the 17th century. He was deaf and mute and known as de Stomme van Kampen (“the mute of Kampen”).

He is especially noted for his winter landscapes of his homeland. His landscapes are characterized by high horizons, bright clear colors, and tree branches darkly drawn against the snow or the sky. His paintings are lively and descriptive, with evidence of solid drawing skills that made him an ideal recorder of his contemporary life.

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1620: Juan Pablo Bonet, the first book on the subject of manual alphabetic signs (ES)

1620: Juan Pablo Bonet, the first book on the subject of manual alphabetic signs (ES)

In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet published the first book on the subject of manual alphabetic signs for the deaf.

Bonet was of the first teachers to devise and record in print a sign alphabet, and his system has had some influence on modern sign languages. However, he was also typical of his age in believing that signing was only a step towards an ideal of oralism rather than a valid form of communication in itself.

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1625 - 1700: Johannes Thopas, Painter (NL)

1625 - 1700: Johannes Thopas, Painter (NL)

Johannes Thopas (ca. 1626 – 1688/95), born deaf, was one of the few artists in the Golden Age who specialized in drawn portraiture. He was especially a virtuoso in lead marker on parchment.

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1663 - 1705: Guillaume Amontons, Deaf Scientist (FR)

1663 - 1705: Guillaume Amontons, Deaf Scientist (FR)

Guillaume was born in Paris, France. While still young, Guillaume lost his hearing, which may have motivated him to focus entirely on science.

He never attended a university, but was able to study mathematics, the physical sciences, and celestial mechanics. He also spent time studying the skills of drawing, surveying, and architecture. He died in Paris, France.

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1669 – 1724: Amman, Johann Konrad (NL)

1669 – 1724: Amman, Johann Konrad (NL)

Johan Konra Amman became a teacher of the deaf around 1690 when a deaf girl, Esther Collader, was brought to him; he succeeded in teaching her to speak. 

Amman strongly believed in oral techniques using lipreading and articulation teaching. His process consisted principally in exciting the attention of his pupils to the motions of his lips and larynx while he spoke, and then inducing them to imitate these movements, until he brought them to repeat distinctly letters, syllables and words.

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1670 – 1750: Étienne de Fay: First deaf teacher of the deaf in France

1670 – 1750: Étienne de Fay: First deaf teacher of the deaf in France

Étienne de Fay was born deaf into a noble family, then placed with the monks at the Abbey of St Jean in Amiens. From 1720 to 1725, he was the first deaf teacher known in France who taught deaf children, before the Abbé de l'Epée.

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1700 - 1800

1712 - 1789: Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

1712 - 1789: Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

"Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée of Paris founded the first free school for deaf people in 1755."

"He first recognized and learned the signs that were already being used by deaf people in Paris and then developed his sign system. He added a signed version of spoken French."

 

 

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1715 – 1806: Thomas Braidwood

1715 – 1806: Thomas Braidwood

Thomas Braidwood (1715–1806) was a Scottish educator, significant in the history of deaf education. He was the founder of Britain's first school for the deaf.

Braidwood changed his vocation from teaching hearing pupils to teaching the deaf, and renamed his building Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb, the first school of its kind in Britain.

The educational approach utilized a "combined system" incorporating sign language, articulation, speech, and lip-reading. Braidwood's input into the development and application of a signed language has been credited as one of the most significant influencers of what would become British Sign Language. 

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1723 - 1792: Joshua Reynolds, Painter (UK)

1723 - 1792: Joshua Reynolds, Painter (UK)

Sir Joshua Reynolds (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an English painter, specialising in portraits.

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1727 - 1790: Samuel Heinicke (DE)

1727 - 1790: Samuel Heinicke (DE)

"Samuel Heinicke was born April 14, 1727, in the part of Europe that is now the eastern part of Germany. In 1754, he began tutoring students—and one of them was deaf. This deaf student reportedly was a young boy. He used the manual alphabet to teach that deaf pupil."

"In 1777, his reputation as a deaf educator was so well established that he was asked to open the first (oral) public school for the deaf. This school opened in Leipzig, Germany and it was the first school for the deaf officially recognized by a government."

 

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1742 - 1822: Abbé Sicard, Teacher of the Deaf (FR)

1742 - 1822: Abbé Sicard, Teacher of the Deaf (FR)

Roch-Ambroise Cucurron Sicard (20 September 1742 – 10 May 1822) was a French abbé and instructor of the deaf.

In 1789, on the death of the Abbé de l'Épée, he succeeded him at a leading school for the deaf which Épée had founded in Paris.

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1742–1810: Richard Crosse, Painter (UK)

1742–1810: Richard Crosse, Painter (UK)

Richard Crosse  was a leading English painter of portrait miniatures. Crosse was, like one of his sisters, completely deaf and never able to speak. 

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1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

In the winter of 1792-93, when Goya was 46, he developed a mysterious illness that nearly killed him. He survived but lost his hearing, and for the next 35 years was “deaf as a stump.”

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And yet, only after the illness did he achieve full mastery of the face in his portraits. Only after his hearing was gone did his skill as a portraitist reach its zenith, possibly, it has been suggested, because deafness made him more aware of gesture, physical expression, and all the minute particulars of how faces and bodies reveal themselves.

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1747 - 1799  : Pierre Desloges

1747 - 1799 : Pierre Desloges

In 1779, Piere Desloges wrote what may be the first book published by a deaf person, in which he advocated for the use of sign language in deaf education.

It was in part a rebuttal of the views of Abbé Claude-François Deschamps de Champloiseau, who had published a book arguing against the use of signs.

Desloges explained, "like a Frenchman who sees his language belittled by a German who knows only a few French words, I thought I was obliged to defend my language against the false charges of this author." He describes a community of deaf people using a sign language (now referred to as Old French Sign Language).

 

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1750 – 1829: Charles Shirreff, Painter (UK)

1750 – 1829: Charles Shirreff, Painter (UK)

Charles Shirreff was born in either 1749 or 1750. His last name has, at times, been spelled as Sherrif, Sherriff, or Shirref.

At the age of three or four, Shirreff became deaf and mute. In 1760, his father approached Thomas Braidwood, owner of a school of mathematics in Edinburgh, seeking an education for the boy, then ten years old, in the hope that he could be taught to write.

Charles became Braidwood's first deaf student; soon afterward, Braidwood founded Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb, the first school of its kind in Britain."

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1755: First School for the Deaf in France, Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

1755: First School for the Deaf in France, Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

"Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée of Paris founded the first free school for deaf people in 1755."

 

 

 

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1772 - 1836: Roberto Francisco Prádez, first Deaf teacher of the Deaf in Spain

1772 - 1836: Roberto Francisco Prádez, first Deaf teacher of the Deaf in Spain

Roberto Prádez was Spain's first deaf teacher of the deaf. Although he has been neglected historically, Prádez is a founding father of deaf education, a heroic figure who contributed crucially to the establishment and operation of Spain's first state-sponsored school.

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1772 - 1846: Jean Massieu, First Deaf Teacher of the Deaf in France

1772 - 1846: Jean Massieu, First Deaf Teacher of the Deaf in France

Jean Massieu (1772 – July 21, 1846) was a pioneering deaf educator. One of six deaf siblings, he was denied schooling until age thirteen when he met Abbé Sicard, who enrolled him in the Institute national des jeunes sourds de Bordeaux-Gradignan, the Bordeaux School for Deaf Children.

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1764 – 1786: John Goodricke, Deaf Scientist (UK)

1764 – 1786: John Goodricke, Deaf Scientist (UK)

John Goodricke FRS (17 September 1764 – 20 April 1786) was an English amateur astronomer. He is best known for his observations of the variable star Algol (Beta Persei) in 1782.

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1760: First School for the Deaf in the UK, Edinburgh

1760: First School for the Deaf in the UK, Edinburgh

In 1760, Scottish teacher, Thomas Braidwood founded Braidwood Academy for the Deaf and Dumb in Edinburgh. The school's rapid gain of public attention could be credited to Thomas Braidwood's brazen advertising of his methods and his institution.

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1778: First School for the Deaf in Germany, Leipzig

1778: First School for the Deaf in Germany, Leipzig

In 1778 Samuel Heinicke opened the first German public school for the education of the deaf in Leipzig. 

Heinicke insisted that lipreading was the best training method because it made his students speak and understand the language as it was used in society. 

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1779: First School for the Deaf in Austria, Vienna

1779: First School for the Deaf in Austria, Vienna

The first Austrian school for the deaf (Taubstummeninstitut) was established in Vienna in 1779 after a visit by Emperor Joseph II to Abbé de l'Epée's school in Paris.

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1779 - 1823: Peter Atke Castberg (DK)

1779 - 1823: Peter Atke Castberg (DK)

Castberg was provided with a grant from the King of Denmark to study deaf education in Europe for two years (1803 - 1805), including de l'Epée school in Paris.

At his return in 1805, Castberg began teaching eight deaf children, and on April 17, 1807, the King signed the charter for Døvsstumme-Institutet i Kiøbenhavn (The Institute of the Deaf-Mute in Copenhagen).

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1785 - 1869:   Laurent Clerc, Deaf Teacher of the Deaf

1785 - 1869: Laurent Clerc, Deaf Teacher of the Deaf

Louis Laurent Marie Clerc (26 December 1785 – 18 July 1869) was a French teacher called "The Apostle of the Deaf in America" and was regarded as the most renowned deaf person in American Deaf History.

With Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, he co-founded the first school for the deaf in North America, the Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, on April 15, 1817. 

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1786: First School for the Deaf in the Czech Republic, Prague

1786: First School for the Deaf in the Czech Republic, Prague

The Institute for the Deaf  was founded on December 7, 1786 in Prague.

From 1787, Karel Berger taught reading and writing with the finger alphabet. He created concepts with the help of characters and deaf and hard of hearing students also learned to articulate.

The real genius of sign language, which was ahead of its time in this area, was Václav Frost. His method was called "Frostr's combined method", also "Czech method" and "Prague", which from today's point of view means that it is a bilingual teaching. Frost used sign language to teach some subjects and, among other things, practiced articulation, reading and writing. He was aware that the deaf needed both. 

 

 

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1788 – 1839: Eelke Jelles Eelkema, Painter (NL)

1788 – 1839: Eelke Jelles Eelkema, Painter (NL)

Eelke Jelles Eelkema (8 July 1788 – 27 November 1839), a painter of landscapes, flowers, and fruit, was born at Leeuwarden (NL) as the son of a merchant. On account of his deafness, which was brought on by an illness at the age of seven, he was educated in the first Dutch institution for the deaf and dumb at Groningen (1799). The Flemish Gerardus de San, first director of the Academie Minerva, instructed Eelkema in the art of drawing.

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1790: First School for the Deaf in the Netherlands, Groningen

1790: First School for the Deaf in the Netherlands, Groningen

On April 14, 1790, Henri Daniel Guyot founded the first Institute for the Deaf in the Netherlands.

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1792: First Public School for the Deaf in the UK, London

1792: First Public School for the Deaf in the UK, London

England’s first public institution for deaf children known as ‘London Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb Children of the Poor’ was started in London in 1792

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1796 - 1874: Andreas Christian Møller, Deaf Founder of the first school for the deaf in Norway

1796 - 1874: Andreas Christian Møller, Deaf Founder of the first school for the deaf in Norway

Andreas Christian Møller (born 18 February 1796 in Trondheim, died 24 December 1874) was a Norwegian wood turner and deaf teacher who founded the first school for the deaf in Norway. Andreas Møller is therefore considered the «father of deaf education».

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1800 - 1900

1767 - 1828: Jean-Baptiste Pouplin (BE)

1767 - 1828: Jean-Baptiste Pouplin (BE)

Jean-Baptiste Pouplin was a Belgian teacher of French origin. He was the founder of one of the first schools for deaf students on the European continent, in Liège in 1819.

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1800 - 1883: Tomasso Pendola

1800 - 1883: Tomasso Pendola

Tommaso Pendola (Genoa, June 22, 1800 - Siena, February 12, 1883) was an Italian priest and educator, known above all for his work as an educator of the deaf.

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1800: Eartrumpets

1800: Eartrumpets

The first firm to begin commercial production of the ear trumpet was established by Frederick C. Rein in London in 1800.

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1803 - 1886:Ferdinand Berthier (FR)

1803 - 1886:Ferdinand Berthier (FR)

Ferdinand Berthier (September 30, 1803 - July 12, 1886) was a deaf educator, intellectual and political organiser in nineteenth-century France, and is one of the earliest champions of deaf identity and culture.

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1805: First School for the Deaf in Spain, Madrid

1805: First School for the Deaf in Spain, Madrid

The year 1805 marked the opening in Madrid of the Royal School for Deafmutes.

Roberto Francisco Prádez was Spain's first deaf teacher of the deaf and a key figure in deaf education during the early 19th century, It was to his efforts that the Royal School for Deafmutes owed much of its success, and at times during its precarioius first three decades, its very existence.

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1806: First School for the Deaf in Russia, Pavlovsk, St. Petersburg

1806: First School for the Deaf in Russia, Pavlovsk, St. Petersburg

"From 1806, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna sponsored educatioal work among deaf children in St. Petersburg. With philanthropic support, the largest school in Russia, the St. Petersburg Institute for the Deaf (Санкт-Петербургское училище глухонемых), emerged there."

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1807: First School for the Deaf in Denmark, Copenhagen

1807: First School for the Deaf in Denmark, Copenhagen

"The kg. Danish Institute of Deafness in Copenhagen (kgl. Døvstumme-Institut, 1807-1949) was established by the Fundats of April 17, 1807, at the initiative of Dr. P. A. Castberg. He rented a house in Sølvgade, but when a law of 1817 ordered the teaching of all the deaf children of the country, he had to move to a larger house in Stormgade."

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1809: First School for the Deaf in Sweden, Stockholm

1809: First School for the Deaf in Sweden, Stockholm

Sweden's first school for the deaf and blind, Manillaskolan, was founded in 1809. 

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1810 - 1891: Claudius Forrestier, Deaf Teacher (FR)

1810 - 1891: Claudius Forrestier, Deaf Teacher (FR)

Claudius Forestier was the director of the institution des sourds-muets in Lyon from 1852 until 1891 and one of the founders of the Société centrale des sourds-muets in 1838.

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1814 - 1865: Václav Frost  (CZ)

1814 - 1865: Václav Frost (CZ)

Václav Frostwas born on February 4, 1814 in Nosálov, he died on June 21, 1865 in Konojedy (Litoměřice district), and was buried in Olšany cemeteries in Prague.

In 1840 he was called as the first teacher to the Prague Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, of which he became director and catechist in 1841. 

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1815: Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (USA, 1787 - 1851)

1815: Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (USA, 1787 - 1851)

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet travelled to Europe in 1815 to study methods of education for the deaf.

After several months in Paris, Gallaudet returned to the United States with Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher. They founded the American school for the deaf in 1817.

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1817: First school for the Deaf in the USA, Hartford

1817: First school for the Deaf in the USA, Hartford

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet met the French educators Abbe Sicard, Laurent Clerc, and Jean Massieu, of the Institut Royal des Sourds-Muets in Paris.

Impressed with the trio he joined them in Paris and learned as much as he could of the language and their methods. On his return to the United States, he invited deaf instructor Laurent Clerc to join him and, in 1817, they established the first permanent school for deaf children in the States, eventually known as the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut.

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1819: First School for the Deaf in Belgium - Walloon

1819: First School for the Deaf in Belgium - Walloon

"A school for the deaf and the blind opened in Liège, thanks to the efforts of Jean-Baptiste Pouplin.

In Februari 1819, the institute was founded and Pouplin became its director. Six months later, Joseph Henrion (1793 - 1868) was appointed as a deaf teacher to assist Pouplin, his father-in-law. Henrion was a former pupil of Sicard."

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1820: First school for the deaf in Belgium - Flanders

1820: First school for the deaf in Belgium - Flanders

The first school for the deaf in Flanders was established in 1820 in the mother monastery of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary in the Molenaarsstraat in Ghent.

In 1819, the young candidate sister Theresia Verhulst went to Paris for nine months to manage the school in order to learn the sign language method of priest Charles-Michel De l'Epée. After her return, she became the first principal of the school until her death in 1854.

 

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1823 - 1875: Bruno Braquehais, photographer (FR)

1823 - 1875: Bruno Braquehais, photographer (FR)

Bruno Braquehais was born in Dieppe, France in 1823. Although records don’t state how he lost his hearing, Braquehais was deaf from a young age. When he was nine years old, he started at the Royal Institute of the Deaf and Mute in Paris. He later found work as a lithographer.

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1825: First school for the Deaf in Norway, Trondheim

1825: First school for the Deaf in Norway, Trondheim

In Norway there was a deaf person, Andreas Christian Møller, who established the first school for the deaf back in 1825.

At this school, sign language was the language of instruction.

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1826 - 1863: Carl Oscar Malm (Finland)

1826 - 1863: Carl Oscar Malm (Finland)

Carl Oscar Malm was born in the Iso-Vahe ’rustholli’ estate in the parish of Eura on 12 February 1826.

Malm’s deafness was first noticed when he was expected to start speaking.

In August 1834, the 8-year-old Malm arrived at Manilla, the school for the deaf in Stockholm. The school’s most renowned teacher was Johan Gerhard Holtz, deaf himself. Malm was Holz’s private student until 1840, after which he became an actual student at Manilla. As was the common practice at the school, Malm learned two languages as Holtz’s student: the sign language used at the school and written Swedish.
Even during his school years, Malm dreamt of founding a school for the deaf in Finland. After returning to Finland, Malm started working as a private teacher for two deaf boys in the parsonage of Koivisto in February 1846. 

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1829 - 1907: Paul Ritter, Painter (DE)

1829 - 1907: Paul Ritter, Painter (DE)

At the age of four, Paul Ritter became deaf due to illness. He became known in particular for his large-format architectural pictures of old Nuremberg with historical figure staffage against the background of the historically faithful architecture of the old town.

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1832 - 1899: Ernst Sokolovski (Estonia)

1832 - 1899: Ernst Sokolovski (Estonia)

On May 26 (June 5, according to the new calendar), 1863, Sokolovski met a deaf boy for the first time. Sokolovsky's heart told him: he must also teach the deaf.

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1834 – 1910: Fritz Hirn, Deaf Teacher of the Deaf (FI)

1834 – 1910: Fritz Hirn, Deaf Teacher of the Deaf (FI)

David Fredrik (Fritz) Hirn (1834–1910) is a pioneer of Finland’s Deaf club activities. He was a well-liked teacher in the Turku Deaf School and founded the first kindergarten for Deaf children. Even after retiring, he started collecting the first Finnish sign language dictionary.

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1834: The first Silent Banquet in Paris (Banquet Silencieux)

1834: The first Silent Banquet in Paris (Banquet Silencieux)

On November 30, 1834, the first Silent banquet was organized by Ferdinand BERTHIER and Alfred BOCQUIN who are themselves deaf, on the occasion of the 122nd anniversary of the birth of Abbot de l'Epée. This tradition continues to be honored in nearly every country in Europe and in the United States.

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1844 -1914: Félix Martin (sculptor, FR)

1844 -1914: Félix Martin (sculptor, FR)

Félix Martin was born deaf on June 2, 18441 in a bourgeois family.

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1847 - 1922: Alexander Graham Bell (USA)

1847 - 1922: Alexander Graham Bell (USA)

Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a Scottish-born American inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. 

Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech. Both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. 

His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first U.S. patent for the telephone, on March 7, 1876.

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1858: First School for the Deaf in Finland, Porvoo

1858: First School for the Deaf in Finland, Porvoo

In 1846, Carl Oscar Malm (1826 - 1863) established a private school for the deaf in Porvoo. In the school, Malm gave instruction in the sign language he had learnt at the Manilla School in Sweden. His objective was that the student should learn both sign language and written language at the same time.

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1861 - 1937: George W. Veditz, First Person to Film Sign Language (ASL)

1861 - 1937: George W. Veditz, First Person to Film Sign Language (ASL)

In 1904, Veditz became president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). He had strong opinions about preserving sign language, so during his years as president he worked closely with Oscar Regensburg, the first chairman of NAD's Motion Picture Fund Committee to produce some of the earliest films that recorded sign language.

Consequently, these videos are some of the most significant documents in deaf history. 

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1866: First School for the Deaf in Vändra, Estonia

1866: First School for the Deaf in Vändra, Estonia

In 1866, under the leadership of Pastor Ernst Sokolovski, a school for the deaf was opened in Vändra. (Kotsar, Kotsar 1997, 9).

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1867: First School for the Deaf in Iceland, Páll Pálsson

1867: First School for the Deaf in Iceland, Páll Pálsson

The first school for the deaf was founded on September 4th 1867 when  Rev. Páll Pálsson was appointed the teacher of the deaf. He took „mute“ students into his home and taught them using finger-spelling and gestures.

Páll used the Danish manual alphabet because he had been educated in Denmark himself. It can be assumed that at this time Icelandic Sign language started to develop amongst the students.

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1870's: Deaf Victorians in the UK

1870's: Deaf Victorians in the UK

Documentary (BSL with English subtitles) with dramatic inserts. Starring some well-known modern Deaf actors, Deaf Victorians shows us what life was like for Deaf people in Victorian times. 

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1877 - 1906: Slava Raškaj, Painter (Croatia)

1877 - 1906: Slava Raškaj, Painter (Croatia)

Slava Raškaj (2 January 1877 – 29 March 1906) was a Croatian painter, considered to be the greatest Croatian watercolorist of the late 19th and early 20th century.

Being deaf ever since her birth, due to the difficulties in communication, she gradually withdrew from people, but not before her talent was noticed.

Her works have been exhibited since 1898 in art pavilions of Zagreb, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It was the best part of her short career when most valuable works were done, especially those painteid in this very Garden, by the ponds. A series of paintings of water lilies (‘Lopoci’) are considered as a sort of a hallmark of this great artist.

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1880: Electrotherapy

1880: Electrotherapy

As electricity became a part of everyday lives in the nineteenth-century, practitioners became excited about its applications for deafness and other ailments.

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1880: the Milan Conference

1880: the Milan Conference

The Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf was (despite the name) the first international conference of deaf educators held in Milan, Italy in 1880. It is commonly known as "the Milan Conference".

After deliberations from September 6 to 11, 1880, the conference declared that oral education (oralism) was superior to manual education and passed a resolution banning the use of sign language in school.

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1885:  First School for the Deaf in Croatia, Zagreb

1885: First School for the Deaf in Croatia, Zagreb

The deaf Institute was founded on 1 October 1888 with the name: "Privatinstitut Lampe". Lampe used only sign language in his teaching. His school prospered because people really appreciated his attempts to prepare deaf pupils for society.

(..)

Until the year 1888, Lampe maintained his school solely by voluntary contributions. In that same year, an association which aimed towards the foundation of an institution for the deaf in Croatia, undertook the management of the school, which shortly after started to expand and flourish."

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1890: British Deaf Association (BDA)

1890: British Deaf Association (BDA)

The BDA British Deaf Association (BDA) was formed in Leeds as The British Deaf and Dumb Association (BDDA) on 24th July 1890.

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1893 - 1975: Gustinus Ambrosi, Sculptor (AT)

1893 - 1975: Gustinus Ambrosi, Sculptor (AT)

"The later sculptor and poet Gustinus Ambrosi, born on February 24, 1893, lost his hearing in 1900 as a result of meningitis."

"In 1913 the sculptor, who was considered brilliant at an early age, received a state studio for life in Vienna and from that year attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna."

 

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1893: Fédération Nationale des Sourds de France (FNSF) National Federation of France for the Deaf

1893: Fédération Nationale des Sourds de France (FNSF) National Federation of France for the Deaf

1897: The Federation of French Societies of the Deaf-Mute was declared to the Ministry of the Interior, it was reorganized in 1933 under the chairmanship of Mr Eugène Ruben-ALCAIS.

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1894 -1960: Kazimierz Wiszniewski (PL), Graphic Designer

1894 -1960: Kazimierz Wiszniewski (PL), Graphic Designer

Kazimierz Wiszniewski was an excellent graphic designer and artist who commemorated the beauty of Polish landscape and Polish architecture in his works.

The art of Kazimierz Wiszniewski is also a very important part of the history of the deaf community in Poland.

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1898: Invention of the electrical hearing aid

1898: Invention of the electrical hearing aid

The first electronic hearing aids were constructed after the invention of the telephone and microphone in the 1870s and 1880s. The technology within the telephone increased how acoustic signal could be altered. Telephones were able to control the loudness, frequency, and distortion of sounds. These abilities were used in the creation of the hearing aid.

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1900 - 2000

1861 - 1937: George W. Veditz, First Person to Film Sign Language (ASL)

1861 - 1937: George W. Veditz, First Person to Film Sign Language (ASL)

In 1904, Veditz became president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). He had strong opinions about preserving sign language, so during his years as president he worked closely with Oscar Regensburg, the first chairman of NAD's Motion Picture Fund Committee to produce some of the earliest films that recorded sign language.

Consequently, these videos are some of the most significant documents in deaf history. 

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1867 - 1959: Johannes Graadt van Roggen (NL)

1867 - 1959: Johannes Graadt van Roggen (NL)

Johannes Mattheus Graadt van Roggen (Amsterdam, 28 May 1867 – Alkmaar, 26 August 1959) was a Dutch draftsman, painter and graphic artist.

Graadt van Roggen was deaf from the age of three as a result of meningitis

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1872 - 1947: Jan Zoetelief Tromp (NL)

1872 - 1947: Jan Zoetelief Tromp (NL)

Johannes Tromp was born on December 13, 1872 in Jakarta (then Batavia). Tromp painted the daily lives of the fishing community, and especially pictures with children, showing them playing on the beach, shepherding goats or returning from the dunes. These scenes are all idyllic and resonate with a familial contentment that presumably reflected his own. 

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1900 - 1966: Richard Liebermann, Painter (DE)

1900 - 1966: Richard Liebermann, Painter (DE)

Richard Liebermann was born deaf and Jewish at Neu-Ulm in Bavaria.  He painted portraits and landscapes all across Germany, but when the Nazis came to power, he was prohibited from continuing his public career because of his Jewish ancestry.

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1900 - 1972: Emerson Romero

1900 - 1972: Emerson Romero

Emerson Romero  was a Cuban-American silent film actor who worked under the screen name Tommy Albert. Romero developed the first technique to provide captions for sound films, making them accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing; his efforts inspired the invention of the captioning technique in use in films and movies today.

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1900: Ultraviolet Therapy

1900: Ultraviolet Therapy

Ultraviolet therapy arose during the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth century to compliment the growing use of electrotherapy by using high-frequency electric current, in attempts to cure deafness.

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1905: Kuurojen Liittoo ry, Finnish Association of the Deaf

1905: Kuurojen Liittoo ry, Finnish Association of the Deaf

The Association of the Deaf is an interest organization for sign language speakers. The deaf founded this own organization in 1905. The union's premises are located in the White House in Helsinki.

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1907: The Nordic Council of the Deaf

1907: The Nordic Council of the Deaf

The Nordic Council for the Deaf (DNR) is a non-partisan and non-religious association with the task of working to raise awareness of the linguistic and cultural interests of the deaf in the Nordic countries.

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1911: Founding of the RNID (UK)

1911: Founding of the RNID (UK)

RNID is the UK charity working to make life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus.

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1913: Österreichische Gehörlosenbund (ÖGLB) (AT)

1913: Österreichische Gehörlosenbund (ÖGLB) (AT)

The ÖGLB was founded in 1913 on the 11th Taubstummentag in Graz as the Reich Association of Deaf-Mute Associations in Austria.

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1946: Schweizerischer Gehöerlosenbund / Fedération Suisse des Sourds / Federazione Svizzera dei Sordi (SGB-FSS)  Swiss Federation of the Deaf

1946: Schweizerischer Gehöerlosenbund / Fedération Suisse des Sourds / Federazione Svizzera dei Sordi (SGB-FSS) Swiss Federation of the Deaf

The Swiss Association of the Deaf was founded in 1946 as a member of the Swiss Association for Aid to the Deaf. Here, hearing experts exclusively determine the fate of deaf and hearing impaired people.

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1948: Polski Związek Głuchych (PZG)  Board of the Polish Association of the Deaf

1948: Polski Związek Głuchych (PZG) Board of the Polish Association of the Deaf

After the war, in 1946, activists of the Polish Association of Deaf Societies established one nationwide organization called the Polish Association of the Deaf and Their Friends. Since 1955, it has been operating under the name of the Polish Association of the Deaf.

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1914 - 1918: Deaf People during World War I (UK)

1914 - 1918: Deaf People during World War I (UK)

Deaf filmmaker Julian Peedle-Calloo re-imagines the unique situations deaf people faced in the Great War with his new 30-minute drama Battle Lines, made for the deaf online TV channel BSLZone. A period drama set in a small village during wartime, it follows a deaf man who desperately wants to fight but is instead treated as an outcast by his neighbours.

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1915: Opening of the Finnish Museum of the Deaf

1915: Opening of the Finnish Museum of the Deaf

The Finnish Museum of the Deaf preserves the cultural heritage of the deaf in Finland. 

The function of the museum is to collect, research and exhibit the cultural heritage of the deaf and sign language users in Finland. The aim of the museum is to increase knowledge of the history and culture of the deaf and sign language users and to strengthen their identity. In addition, the museum aims at communicating knowledge related to its specialty to the public at large.

Since 2012, The Finnish Museum of the Deaf is part of the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas inTampere.

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1918: Norges Døveforbund (NDF)  Norwegian Association of the Deaf

1918: Norges Døveforbund (NDF) Norwegian Association of the Deaf

The first deaf association in Norway was founded in Oslo in 1878.

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1919: Asociatia Nationala a Surzilor din România (ANSR)  Romanian National Association for the Deaf

1919: Asociatia Nationala a Surzilor din România (ANSR) Romanian National Association for the Deaf

The first group of persons with hearing impairment in Romania was established on November 9, 1919 and was called the Friendly Association of the Deaf-Mute in Romania, under the patronage of Queen Mary, through the voluntary association of a group of deaf.

In 1995, within the National Conference it was decided that the name of the association be “Romanian National Association of the Deaf”, a name that it honors nowadays.

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1922: Eesti Kurtide Liit  Estonian Association of the Deaf

1922: Eesti Kurtide Liit Estonian Association of the Deaf

The Estonian Society of the Deaf was founded in 1922 in Tallinn when the articles of association had been prepared, reviewed and a founding permit had been obtained.

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1922: Sveriges Dövas Riksförbund (SDR), Swedish National Association of the Deaf

1922: Sveriges Dövas Riksförbund (SDR), Swedish National Association of the Deaf

SDR was formed on February 26, 1922. Before the formation of SDR, there was the Deaf-Mute Association in Stockholm, which was formed in 1868 by three founders.

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1924: First World Games for the Deaf

1924: First World Games for the Deaf

The Deaflympics (previously called World Games for the Deaf, and International Games for the Deaf) are an International Olympic Committee (IOC)-sanctioned event at which deaf athletes compete at an elite level.

The games have been organized by the Comité International des Sports des Sourds (CISS, "The International Committee of Sports for the Deaf") since the first event in 1924.

The first games, held in Paris in 1924, were also the first ever international sporting event for athletes with a disability. The event has been held every four years since, apart from a break for World War II, and an additional event, the Deaflympic Winter Games, was added in 1949. 

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1927 - 1989: Malcolm J. Norwood –  The Father of Closed Captioning

1927 - 1989: Malcolm J. Norwood – The Father of Closed Captioning

As television developed in the 1950s and 1960s the deaf were virtually left out.  As the head of DCMP, Norwood became a leading advocate for the development of closed captioning on television and was singularly responsible for popularizing the captioning technique now used in television.  

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1927: Deutscher Gehoerlosen-Bund e.V. (DGB)  German Association of the Deaf

1927: Deutscher Gehoerlosen-Bund e.V. (DGB) German Association of the Deaf

The German Deaf Association was founded in 1950. It regards itself as the legal successor to the Reich Association of the Deaf of Germany (ReGeDe), founded in 1927, which was renamed the Reich Association of the Deaf of Germany in 1940 during the Nazi era and was merged into the German Association of the Deaf and Speech Impaired (DGS) in 1943.

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1928 - ..: Peter Dimmel, Sculptor (AT)

1928 - ..: Peter Dimmel, Sculptor (AT)

Peter Hans Dimmel (born August 31, 1928 in Vienna) is an Austrian sculptor and functionary in various deaf interest groups. His life's work includes more than 170 works, including many sculptures and restoration work for churches, especially with the material bronze.

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1930 - 1945: The Deaf in the Nazi Era (film)

1930 - 1945: The Deaf in the Nazi Era (film)

"With excerpts from the film "Misunderstood People" from 1932 as well as other documents and stories from contemporary witnesses, the German Deaf Association produced a new, one-hour film in 2013 entitled "The Deaf in the Nazi Era". 

This film shows how the diversity of the deaf community in Germany and especially in Berlin was gradually destroyed during the Nazi era.

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1931 - 1993: Dorothy

1931 - 1993: Dorothy "Dot" Miles, Poet and Activist (UK)

Dorothy "Dot" Miles (19 August 1931 – 30 January 1993) was a poet and activist in the deaf community. Throughout her life, she composed her poems in English, British Sign Language, and American Sign Language. Her work laid the foundations for modern sign language poetry in the US and UK.

She is regarded as the pioneer of BSL poetry and her work influenced many contemporary Deaf poets.

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1934: СЪЮЗ НА ГЛУХИТЕ В БЪЛГАРИЯ (SGB)  Union of the Deaf in Bulgaria

1934: СЪЮЗ НА ГЛУХИТЕ В БЪЛГАРИЯ (SGB) Union of the Deaf in Bulgaria

The Union of the Deaf in Bulgaria is the successor of the former Society of the Deaf and Dumb in Bulgaria, which was founded on July 12, 1934.

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1935: Danske Døves Landsforbund (DDL)  Danish Deaf Association

1935: Danske Døves Landsforbund (DDL) Danish Deaf Association

The Danish Association of the Deaf (DDL) fights to improve the opportunities for the deaf in Denmark in all areas; education, accessibility, interpretation, the labor market and sign language.

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1936: Doof Vlaanderen (BE)

1936: Doof Vlaanderen (BE)

Doof Vlaanderen is a federation of Flemish Deaf organizations that works towards equality, emancipation and development of deaf people and their language, the Flemish Sign Language, in society.

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1940 - 1945: Deaf People in World War II (UK)

1940 - 1945: Deaf People in World War II (UK)

Documentary. In World War II: Unheard Memories, Deaf people tell their previously hidden stories about living in wartime Britain in their own language, British Sign Language. In this episode, we find out how they felt when war was declared, and discover what it was like to live during the Blitz. 

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1949: Foundation of the Deutsches Gehörlosen-Theater e.V., Germany

1949: Foundation of the Deutsches Gehörlosen-Theater e.V., Germany

The German Deaf Theater (Deutsches Gehörlosen-Theater e.V., DGT for short) was founded over half a century ago with the aim that the deaf people can visit a theater in their language and that the deaf actors can come out of themselves and slip into other roles and still be themselves stay.

Deaf actors have long been discriminated outsiders. That shouldn't be anymore. On stage they are free spirits and rebels who maintain the culture of the deaf. It is simply fascinating to see how the deaf actors on stage implement their creative ideas with such passion, as if it were about life and death, about everything or nothing.

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1951: World Federation of the Deaf established in Rome

1951: World Federation of the Deaf established in Rome

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) was established in 1951 during the first World Congress in Rome, Italy. The WFD is an international non-governmental organisation in official liaison with ECOSOC, UNESCO, ILO, WHO and the Council of Europe.

The WFD today continues to be an ever-expanding umbrella organisation providing a wide range of support and advocacy services for 134 national associations of the deaf.

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1953: First School for the Deaf in Cyprus, Nicosia

1953: First School for the Deaf in Cyprus, Nicosia

Nicosia, the capital of the Greek part of Cyprus, has a school for the deaf, which was founded in 1953 by George Markou, who today is called the "Father of deaf people"

Markou started the school for the deaf in Cyprus with 22 pupils, 16 of which were Greek and 6 Turkish. His two assistants were Greek and Turkish.

From the very start of deaf education in Cyprus, the communication method never changed. The reasons for that being that the oral method had been used since the day of the school's inception, the majority of teachers prefer this method and had been accustomed to it since their training.

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1958: International Week of the Deaf launched by the World Federation of the Deaf

1958: International Week of the Deaf launched by the World Federation of the Deaf

International Week of the Deaf is an initiative of the WFD and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy.
It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community on the last week of September each year to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held.

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1960 - ..: Alexander Matianov, Painter (RU)

1960 - ..: Alexander Matianov, Painter (RU)

Alexander Martianov was born in 1960 in a village not far from the town of Vyatka in the Russian Federation.

Mr Martianov has described his work in this way: “I find my own forms in art that can express my thoughts and internal images. I believe deafness has influenced my art in the sense that my world vision is connected to my deafness, and I try to express this in my work. My style has changed very little in recent years. Whatever changes there have been reflect my inner experience and images.”

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1960: Felag heyrnarlausra  Icelandic Association of the Deaf

1960: Felag heyrnarlausra Icelandic Association of the Deaf

Founded on 11th of February, 1960, the Icelandic Association of the Deaf is an advocacy, expert and service organization of the Deaf.

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1960: William Stokoe,

1960: William Stokoe, "Sign Language Structure"

Stokoe is often considered to be the "father of linguistics" in the field of American Sign Language. His research on American Sign Language (ASL) revolutionized the understanding of ASL in the United States and sign languages throughout the world. 

Stokoe's work led to a widespread recognition that sign languages are true languages, exhibiting syntax and morphology, and are not mere systems of gesture. This work redefined the concept of "language" itself, and influenced thinking in theoretical linguistics, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, neural studies, and even jurisprudence.

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1963: First School for the Deaf in Albania

For centuries, Albania did not have any facilities for deaf, blind and disabled people. It was not until 1963 that, due to the efforts of the communist government in Russia, a school was opened in Tirana for deaf, blind and visually disabled pupils. 

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1964 - ...: Videotelephony for deaf people

1964 - ...: Videotelephony for deaf people

One of the first demonstrations of the ability for telecommunications to help sign language users communicate with each other occurred when AT&T's videophone (trademarked as the 'Picturephone') was introduced to the public at the 1964 New York World's Fair –two deaf users were able to freely communicate with each other between the fair and another city.

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1964: Invention of the Text Telephone (TTY)

1964: Invention of the Text Telephone (TTY)

The TTY came into being because of a deaf man named Robert Weitbrecht, the device's inventor.

Weitbrecht was born in 1920 and died in 1983. Born deaf, he had difficulty learning to talk and was teased for his disability. He grew up to become an astronomer, physicist, and a licensed ham radio operator. Many people don't know that he also worked on the Manhattan project and invented the Geiger counter to measure radioactivity. However, it was his experience as a ham radio operator that led to the development of the TTY.

In the late 1970’s and through the 1980’s, much smaller and compact versions of the TTY were manufactured, marketed, and made available through state TTY equipment distribution programs.

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1967 - ..: Invention of the Cochlear Implant by Graeme Clark

1967 - ..: Invention of the Cochlear Implant by Graeme Clark

In the mid-1960s, while working as an ear surgeon in Melbourne, Australia, Professor Clark came upon a scientific paper by Blair Simmons in the US. It described how a profoundly deaf person received hearing sensations through electrical stimulation, but no speech understanding. The seed was planted, and in 1967 he began researching the possibility of an electronic, implantable hearing device: a cochlear implant.

In 1978, the first cochlear implant surgery took place. And he and his dedicated team discovered in 1978 how speech could be coded with multi-channel electrical stimulation. Professor Clark’s determination had paid off.

From his success, Cochlear Limited was born. Its purpose: to make Professor Clark’s innovative multi-channel cochlear implant commercially available all over the world. Today, hundreds of thousands of severely or profoundly deaf children and adults worldwide have received a cochlear implant from Cochlear. 

Source: https://www.cochlear.com/intl/about/company-information/history-of-innovation/about-graeme-clark

 

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1971 - ...: Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq, Painter (UK)

1971 - ...: Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq, Painter (UK)

Rubbena is a London-based artist and facilitator whose work concerns culture, deaf identity and, as a deaf woman of Pakistani heritage, the multi-faceted nature of being a ‘minority within a minority’

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1973: Għaqda Persuni Neqsin mis-Smigħ  Maltese Deaf People's Association

1973: Għaqda Persuni Neqsin mis-Smigħ Maltese Deaf People's Association

The Deaf People Association Malta was founded in 1973 and represents almost 1500 D/deaf people in Malta.

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1977: Fédération Francophone des Sourds de Belgique (FFSB)

1977: Fédération Francophone des Sourds de Belgique (FFSB)

Creation of the FFSB, following the linguistic split of the National Federation in 1936.

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1977: Foundation of the International Visual Theatre (IVT), France

1977: Foundation of the International Visual Theatre (IVT), France

In 1976, the deaf American artist Alfredo Corrado went to France to work for the Nancy International Theater Festival. He meets Jean Grémion, French director already engaged in research on non-verbal theater.

Founded in 1977, IVT is currently directed by Emmanuelle Laborit since 2002, Jennifer Lesage-David since 2014.

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1978 - 2013: Centre for Deaf Studies, Bristol (UK)

1978 - 2013: Centre for Deaf Studies, Bristol (UK)

The Centre for Deaf Studies was a department of the University of Bristol, England, in the field of deaf studies, which it defines as the study of the "language, community and culture of Deaf people".

Established in 1978, the Centre claimed to be the first higher educational Institute in Europe "to concentrate solely on research and education that aims to benefit the Deaf community". 

In May 2010, the university announced plans to close the undergraduate course as part of a drive to save £15 million. The campaign against this focussed on the lack of justice in targeting staff and students with particular needs, and the aggressiveness of the University's approach to the CDS, led by the Dean, Dr Judith Squires. There were accusations that her Faculty saved other units only by sacrificing the CDS. The shutdown of the programme was successful and the last students from the undergraduate degree graduated in 2013.

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1970: Foundation of Tyst Theatre (Sweden)

1970: Foundation of Tyst Theatre (Sweden)

Riksteatern’s Tyst Teater is a pioneer in the production of groundbreaking dramatic art in Swedish Sign Language. Ever since the start in 1970, thee have offered a unique selection of dramatic arts, seminars and meetings.

Tyst Teater’s vision is to create the very best dramatic art in Swedish Sign Language, with and by artists and cultural performers who are deaf and members of the sign-language community.

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1979 - ...Closed Captions and Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing people

1979 - ...Closed Captions and Subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing people

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the UK was the first broadcaster to include closed captions (subtitles in the UK) in 1979 based on the Teletext framework for pre-recorded programming. It now offers a 100% broadcast captioning service across all 7 of its main broadcast channels.

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1981: Irish Deaf Society (IDS)

1981: Irish Deaf Society (IDS)

The IDS was set up by a group of Deaf people on the 13th January 1981. They were concerned with a society that was not treating Deaf people as equals.

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1981: Sweden, Legal Recognition of Swedish Sign Language

1981: Sweden, Legal Recognition of Swedish Sign Language

In May 1981, the Swedish Parliament decided that: “deaf have to be bilingual to function amongst themselves and in society. Bilingualism on their part means that they have to be fluent in their visual/gestural language and in the language that surrounds them, Swedish.” This decision is recognised as acceptance that Swedish Sign Language is the first language of Swedish deaf people.

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1983: Foundation of EDSO, European Deaf Sports Organisation

1983: Foundation of EDSO, European Deaf Sports Organisation

Previous to the foundation of the EDSO in 1983 there were already European Championships of the Deaf since 1967. At this time they were still under the auspices of the Comité International des Sports (CISS), the World Federation of Deaf Sports. However, since their task was the promotion of deaf sports world-wide, they were not able to organise European Championships on a regular basis.

For this reason the countries Belgium, Netherlands, France and Germany took the initiative to found a European Deaf Sport Federation which had the task to provide orderly and regular European Championships. For this reason the delegates of the 4 countries met a few times to determine the shape and the programme of a European Deaf Sport Federation. 

40 countries with 50.000 athletes in 1.000 Deaf Sports Clubs are members of the EDSO.

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1985: Foundation of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD)

1985: Foundation of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD)

The European Union of the Deaf (EUD) was founded in 1985.

It is EUD's vision that Deaf people all over Europe have equality in both public and private aspects of life. Its main objectives it wants realised are: the recognition of the right to use an indigenous sign language, empowerment through communication and information, and equality in education and employment.

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1986: Foundation of the European Society of Mental Health and Deafness (ESMHD)

1986: Foundation of the European Society of Mental Health and Deafness (ESMHD)

ESMHD was established in 1986 by a group of concerned people from four European countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and Germany.

The ESMHD now has members from most European Union Countries as well as from countries outside Europe.

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1987: Foundation of the EUDY (European Union of the Deaf Youth)

1987: Foundation of the EUDY (European Union of the Deaf Youth)

Established in 1987, EUDY (European Union of the Deaf Youth) is the only organisation representing the interests of Deaf Youth Europeans in Europe. EUDY exists to promote, advance, protect rights, and opportunities for Deaf people in Europe. Emancipation and equal opportunities are key philosophies in our work towards achieving an equal position in society with recognition of Deaf people as full citizens in our right.

EUDY's Vision:
In world where all Deaf Youth who use sign language are able to enjoy their rights, fulfil their responsibilities and obligations, and participate fully as they choose at every level of society.

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1987: Foundation of Teatteri Totti (Finland)

1987: Foundation of Teatteri Totti (Finland)

Theater Totti is the only sign language theater in Finland.It was founded in 1987.

Theater Totti produces his performances for many different age groups, from children to adults and older generations. The plays can also be interpreted into speech for non-sign language viewers.

Every year, Toti has one to two of the theater's own sign language productions in its repertoire.

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1988: Deaf President Now (USA)

1988: Deaf President Now (USA)

A "Deaf President Now" (DPN) student demonstration was held at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. On March 13 

The protest began on March 6, 1988, when the Board of Trustees announced its decision to appoint a hearing candidate, Elizabeth Zinser, over the other highly qualified Deaf candidates, Irving King Jordan and Harvey Corson, as its seventh president.

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1990: Svaz Neslyšících a Nedoslýchavých v Čr (UDHH) Czech Republic Union of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

1990: Svaz Neslyšících a Nedoslýchavých v Čr (UDHH) Czech Republic Union of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Union of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons in the Czech Republic was established on 8 May 1990 as a non-profit civic association.

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1992 - ...:  Text messaging (SMS, Whatsapp)

1992 - ...: Text messaging (SMS, Whatsapp)

SMS (short message service) is the text messaging service component of most telephone, Internet, and mobile device systems. Since it is used by most hearing people, it gives deaf people direct abd independent access to long distance communication with both hearing and deaf people.

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1993: Federação Portuguesa das Associações de Surdos (FPAS) Portuguese Federation of Associations of the Deaf

1993: Federação Portuguesa das Associações de Surdos (FPAS) Portuguese Federation of Associations of the Deaf

It is the role of FPAS, as the highest representative institution of the Deaf in Portugal, to emphasize and value the Rights of the Deaf Person, carrying out projects and working in various areas.

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1995: Lithuania, Legal Recognition of Lithuanian Sign Language

1995: Lithuania, Legal Recognition of Lithuanian Sign Language

On May 4, 1995, The Government of the Republic of Lithuania has officially recognized Lithuanian Sign Language as the native language of the deaf.

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1995: Finland, Legal Recognition of Finnish Sign Language

1995: Finland, Legal Recognition of Finnish Sign Language

Finnish Sign Language was recognised in the constitution in August 1995:

Section 17 - Right to one's language and culture [...] The rights of persons using sign language and of persons in need of interpretation or translation aid owing to disability shall be guaranteed by an Act.

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1995: Slovakia, Legal Recognition of Slovak Sign Language

1995: Slovakia, Legal Recognition of Slovak Sign Language

The National Council of the Slovak Republic passed a law recognizing "Sign Language as a language of communication of the Deaf"

Slovakia has a separate Law on the Sign Language of the Deaf. The Slovak Union of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing was mainly involved in drafting this law. It took over three years of fighting until the law was passed in 1995. 
It recognises sign language as the language of the Deaf.

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1997: Portugal, Legal Recognition of Portuguese Sign Language

1997: Portugal, Legal Recognition of Portuguese Sign Language

"The revised Constitution was published 20 September 1997, with PSL included in Article 74, Education:

In the implementation of its policy for education, it is the duty of the State:

  • To protect and value the Portuguese Sign Language as cultural expression and instrument of access to education and equality of opportunities."

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1998: Czech Republic, Legal Recognition of Czech Sign Language

1998: Czech Republic, Legal Recognition of Czech Sign Language

In 1998, the Czech parliament passed a bill that Czech Sign Language was officially recognized as the first language of the Deaf people in Czech Republic.

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2000 - Now

1953, 1999: Dovenschap Nieuwe Stijl  Deaf Association of the Netherlands

1953, 1999: Dovenschap Nieuwe Stijl Deaf Association of the Netherlands

In 1953, the Dovenraad (Council of the Deaf) was founded. 

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1978 - 2013: Centre for Deaf Studies, Bristol (UK)

1978 - 2013: Centre for Deaf Studies, Bristol (UK)

The Centre for Deaf Studies was a department of the University of Bristol, England, in the field of deaf studies, which it defines as the study of the "language, community and culture of Deaf people".

Established in 1978, the Centre claimed to be the first higher educational Institute in Europe "to concentrate solely on research and education that aims to benefit the Deaf community". 

In May 2010, the university announced plans to close the undergraduate course as part of a drive to save £15 million. The campaign against this focussed on the lack of justice in targeting staff and students with particular needs, and the aggressiveness of the University's approach to the CDS, led by the Dean, Dr Judith Squires. There were accusations that her Faculty saved other units only by sacrificing the CDS. The shutdown of the programme was successful and the last students from the undergraduate degree graduated in 2013.

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1990 - 2015: Handtheater

1990 - 2015: Handtheater

Handtheater was a unique organization in the Netherlands that was active in the field of performing arts and cultural education in sign language from 1990 to 2012.

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2000: Greece, Legal Recognition of Greek Sign Language

2000: Greece, Legal Recognition of Greek Sign Language

Greek Sign Language was legally recognised as the official language of the Deaf Community in Greece by Law 2817 in 2000.

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2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

The Official Language Law of 9 December 1999, which came into force on 1 September 2000, gave Latvian Sign Language a legal status in Section 3.3, which stipulates: 'The State shall ensure the development and use of the Latvian sign language for communication with people with impaired hearing."

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2001: Foundation of Teater Manu (Norway)

2001: Foundation of Teater Manu (Norway)

In December 2001, Theatre Manu was established. The theatre's strategy document states that the theatre will be the best theatre in the world with its roots in deaf culture and the environment.

Theater Manu is Norway's sign language theater. Teater Manu has developed into a state-funded institutional theater with eight employees, which has an office and stage at Grünerløkka in Oslo.

Theater Manu is a touring professional theater with high quality performing arts, a young cultural institution that is recognized both nationally and internationally.

 

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2001: Foundation of Signdance Collective International (UK, NL)

2001: Foundation of Signdance Collective International (UK, NL)

The Signdance Collective is a touring performance company that was established in 2001. The company is culturally diverse with a team of experienced deaf and disabled artists at the helm.

The company is one of the first in the world to utilise and introduce the concept of inclusive practice with a specific focus on disability-deaf led team work.

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2002, 2019: Slovenia, Legal Recognition of Slovenian Sign Language

2002, 2019: Slovenia, Legal Recognition of Slovenian Sign Language

The government endorsed the proposal to set down the Slovenian sign language as an official language in the constitution on Thursday, starting the procedure of enabling the Slovenian deaf and hearing-impaired community to fully exercise their basic human rights.

The law on the use of the Slovenian sign language from 2002 gives the children the right to have an interpreter to a limited extent, but it does not grant the language the necessary status.

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2002: Foundation of Deafinitely Theatre Company (UK)

2002: Foundation of Deafinitely Theatre Company (UK)

In 2002 Paula Garfield founded Deafinitely Theatre alongside Steven Webb and Kate Furby having become frustrated with the barriers deaf actors and directors faced in mainstream media. 

They are the first deaf launched and deaf-led theatre company in the UK that works bilingually in British Sign Language and spoken English, producing work that caters to audiences of all ages. 

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2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

German Sign Language was first legally recognised in The Federal Disability Equality Act (2002) in May 2002. Since then, deaf people have a legal entitlement to Sign Language interpreters when communicating with federal authorities, free of charge.

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2002: Romania, Legal Recognition of Romanian Sign Language

2002: Romania, Legal Recognition of Romanian Sign Language

Romanian Sign Language (Romanian: Limba semnelor române or LSR) is the sign language used by deaf people in Romania.

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2003: UK, Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

2003: UK, Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

British Sign Language (BSL) is an official minority language of the UK, recognised on 18th March 2003.

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2003 - ...: Festival Clin d'Oeil (FR)

2003 - ...: Festival Clin d'Oeil (FR)

The Festival Clin d'Oeil is an international sign language arts festival created in 2003, taking place every two years in July for four days. Several artistic fields are represented: theater, dance, cinema, visual arts, street performances, etc.

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2003: Paddy Lad,

2003: Paddy Lad, "Deafhood"

Dr. Paddy Ladd is a Deaf scholar, author, activist and researcher of Deaf culture. His book "Understanding Deaf CultureIn Search of Deafhood" was published in 2003. 

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2003: Walloon - Belgium, Legal Recognition of French Belgian Sign Language

2003: Walloon - Belgium, Legal Recognition of French Belgian Sign Language

Belgium's Parliament of the French Community recognised French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB) by decree in October 2003. The recognition entails:

  • cultural (symbolic) recognition
  • the formation of a commission to advise the Government of the French Communityin all LSFB-related matters

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2004: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

2004: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

Icelandic Sign Language was recognised by law in education in 2004.

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2005 - 2007: Helga Stevens President of EUD

2005 - 2007: Helga Stevens President of EUD

EUD President, 2005 - 2007: Helga Stevens (  Belgium)

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2005: Austria, Legal Recognition of Austrian Sign Language

2005: Austria, Legal Recognition of Austrian Sign Language

Austrian Sign Language (Österreichische Gebärdensprache, or ÖGS) was recognised by the Austrian Parliament in 2005.

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2006: Cyprus, Legal Recognition of Cypriot Sign Language

2006: Cyprus, Legal Recognition of Cypriot Sign Language

Cyprus or Cypriot Sign Language (Greek: Κυπριακή Νοηματική Γλώσσα) is an incipient sign language of Cyprus.

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2006: Flanders - Belgium: Legal Recognition of Flemish Sign Language

2006: Flanders - Belgium: Legal Recognition of Flemish Sign Language

Flemish Sign Language (Dutch: Vlaamse Gebarentaal or VGT) was recognised on 24 April 2006 by the Flemish Parliament.

Cultural recognition entails that the Flemish Government recognises the Flemish Sign Language as the language of the Deaf Community in Flanders.

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2006: Adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the UN (UN CRPD)

2006: Adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by the UN (UN CRPD)

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNRPD) was adopted on 13 December 2006.

It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty of the 21st century and is the first human rights convention to be open for signature by regional organizations. The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.

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2007: Spain, Legal Recognition of Spanish and Catalan Sign Languages

2007: Spain, Legal Recognition of Spanish and Catalan Sign Languages

On June 28, 2007, Spanish and Catalan Sign Languages were recognised by the Spanish Parliament to be official languages in Spain.

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2007: Estonia, Legal Recognition of Estonian Sign Language

2007: Estonia, Legal Recognition of Estonian Sign Language

Estonian Sign Language was officially recognised on 1 March 2007.

The Language Act recognises Estonian Sign Language (eesti viipekeel, EVK) as an independent language: not using 'sign language' as a generic term.

Par. 2 "Scope of Application" mentions Estonian Sign Language again, explicitly stating that the Act regulates the Estonian language and the use of Estonian Sign Language, along with 'foreign languages', i.e. minority languages.

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2009: Macedonia, Legal Recognition of Macedonian Sign Language

2009: Macedonia, Legal Recognition of Macedonian Sign Language

"The Macedonian sign language (Macedonian: македонски знаковен јазикromanized: makedonski znakoven jazik or македонски гестовен јазикmakedonski gestoven jazik) is the sign language of the deaf community in North Macedonia.

The Macedonian Sign language is regulated by a national law on 21 August 2009.  

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2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

In November 2009 the Hungarian Parliament unanimously passed an act on Hungarian Sign Language and the protection of Hungarian Sign Language.

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2009: Dr. Ádám Kósa  first Deaf member of the European Parliament

2009: Dr. Ádám Kósa first Deaf member of the European Parliament

The European Parliamentarian Dr. Adam Kosa from Hungary was the first deaf person elected in European parliamentary elections in June 2009, which marked a historical achievement for the deaf community.

Kosa works in the interests of deaf and disabled Europeans. One of his major aims is to make sign language the 24th official language in the EU.

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2009: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Legal Recognition of Sign Language

2009: Bosnia and Herzegovina: Legal Recognition of Sign Language

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the deaf have the same language rights with sign language as the hearing do with oral language. Interpreters must be provided between sign and Serbo-Croatian for deaf people dealing with government bodies, and government television broadcasts must be translated into sign language.

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2010: UN CRPD ratification by the EU

2010: UN CRPD ratification by the EU

December 2010, the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).

By concluding the UN Convention, the EU is committed to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights for all persons with disabilities through the adoption of new legislation, policies and programmes and the review of existing measures.

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2010: ICED, Apologies for Milan Conference

2010: ICED, Apologies for Milan Conference

The 2010 ICED Organizing Committee opened the 21st International Congress on the Education of the Deaf in Vancouver, Canada with a long-awaited sweeping repudiation of the 1880 Milan ICED resolutions. 

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2011: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

2011: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

In June 2011, Icelandic Sign Language was officially recognized as a first language. The law now states that Icelandic Sign Language is the first language of those who must rely on it for expression and communication, and of their children. The government authorities shall nurture and support it.

Article 5 of the Act also ensures that the government must promote all aspects of education and awareness in regards to Icelandic Sign Language.

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2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

In 2012, under the "Sign Language Act", Polish Sign Language ("Polski Język Migowy", PJM) received official status in Poland and can be chosen as the language of instruction by those who require it.

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2013 - now: Dr Markku Jokinen President of EUD

2013 - now: Dr Markku Jokinen President of EUD

EUD President 2013–present: Dr Markku Jokinen (  Finland).

His major goal with the EUD is to strengthen EUD and work on strengtening EU citizenship of deaf people through using EU and other international instruments including UN CRPD.

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2013 - ... :École de Théâtre Universelle (FR)

2013 - ... :École de Théâtre Universelle (FR)

The first generalist theater school in sign language immersion, the ETU offers a two-year diploma course.

The theater school, exclusively in sign language, is generalist, demanding, diploma-based and based on pedagogy by project. This innovative research site is enriched by numerous partnerships and exchanges.

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2013: Dr. Liisa Kauppinen receives United Nations Human Rights Award Prize

2013: Dr. Liisa Kauppinen receives United Nations Human Rights Award Prize

Dr. Liisa Kauppinen received the 2013 United Nations Human Rights Award Prize from the United Nations in New York, USA.

The United Nations Prize in the field of Human Rights is an honorary award given to individuals and organisations for outstanding achievement in human rights every five years.

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2014: Denmark, Legal Recognition of Danish Sign Language

2014: Denmark, Legal Recognition of Danish Sign Language

On May 13, 2014, Danish sign language was recognized as equivalent to the Danish language by an overwhelming majority in The Danish Parliament.

The Danish Parliament established the Danish Sign Language Council "to devise principles and guidelines for the monitoring of the Danish sign language and offer advice and information on the Danish sign language."

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2014: Albania, Legal Recognition of Albanian Sign Language

2014: Albania, Legal Recognition of Albanian Sign Language

In 2014, Albanian Sign language was legally recognized.

Albanian Sign Language (AlbSL, Albanian: Gjuha e Shenjave Shqipe) is one of the deaf sign languages of Europe. It is unrelated to other sign languages of the Balkans.

It is relatively young, having developed primarily since the collapse of Communism in 1990.

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2014: Helga Stevens second Deaf Member of the European Parliament

2014: Helga Stevens second Deaf Member of the European Parliament

In May 2014, Helga Stevens was elected Member of the European Parliament. In November 2014, she was elected vice-president of the European Conservatives and Reformists group. In addition to her committee assignments, Stevens served as president of the European Parliament’s Disabilities Intergroup.

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2015: Croatia, Legal Recognition of Croatian Sign Language

2015: Croatia, Legal Recognition of Croatian Sign Language

Croatian sign language (Hrvatski znakovni jezik, HZJ) is a sign language of the deaf community in Croatia.

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2015: British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill passed unanimously

2015: British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill passed unanimously

On Thursday 17 September 2015 the British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by all Parties in the Chamber in the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

This new Act will work towards improving the daily life of the Scottish Deaf population and could shake up where the Deaf community choose to call home.

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2015: Serbia, Legal Recognition of Serbian Sign Language

2015: Serbia, Legal Recognition of Serbian Sign Language

Serbian Sign Language has been approved by the Serbian Parliament on 28 April 2015.

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2015: European Parliament supports full implementation of UN CRPD

2015: European Parliament supports full implementation of UN CRPD

On the 20th May, the European Parliament conducted a plenary debate after which it adopted a resolution in which it expresses its strong support to the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).  It was adopted with an overwhelming majority among the political parties.

The resolution states that the European Parliament should be fully involved in monitoring and implementing the UN Convention.

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2016: Malta, Legal Recognition of Maltese Sign Language

2016: Malta, Legal Recognition of Maltese Sign Language

Maltese Sign Language (Maltese: Lingwa tas-Sinjali Maltija, or LSM) was officially recognised by the Parliament of Malta in March 2016.

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2017: Ireland, Legal Recognition of Irish Sign Language

2017: Ireland, Legal Recognition of Irish Sign Language

The Recognition of Irish Sign Language for the Deaf Community Bill 2016 passed the Irish Parliament on 14 December 2017, and was signed into law by President Michael D. Higgins on 24 December of that year.

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2017: 23 September marked as International Day of Sign Languages

2017: 23 September marked as International Day of Sign Languages

The UN General Assembly has proclaimed 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages in order to raise awareness of the importance of sign language in the full realization of the human rights of people who are deaf.

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2018: Luxembourg, Legal Recognition of Luxembourg Sign Language

2018: Luxembourg, Legal Recognition of Luxembourg Sign Language

On Monday 22 May 2017, minister Cahen submitted a bill to parliament to make German sign language an official language of the grand duchy of Luxembourg. The bill will give deaf or hard of hearing the right to an interpreter when they deal with state administrative bodies, if approved.

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2020: The Netherlands, Legal Recognition of the Sign Language of the Netherlands

2020: The Netherlands, Legal Recognition of the Sign Language of the Netherlands

"Tuesday 22 September, the Senate of the Dutch Parliament voted about the Law recognition Sign Language of the Netherlands. It was approved unanimously. With this law, Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT, Nederlandse Gebarentaal) becomes an official language in the Netherlands, next to Dutch and Frisian."

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2021: Bulgaria: Legal Recognition of Bulgarian Sign Language

2021: Bulgaria: Legal Recognition of Bulgarian Sign Language

21st of January 2021 was a big day for the Bulgarian Deaf Community and especially to those who have worked hard in pushing the Bulgarian Sign Language Act through over the last couple of years: the Bulgarian Sign Language (BGSL) was finally recognized as an official language in Bulgaria.

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2021: Italy, Legal Recognition Italian Sign Language

2021: Italy, Legal Recognition Italian Sign Language

On May 19, 2021, Italy officially recognized LIS (Italian Sign Language).

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