1000 BC - 1700
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.