FR: Ferdinand Berthier Louhans
Place St. Jean
Ferdinand Berthier (September 30, 1803 in Louhans, Saône-et-Loire, France - July 12, 1886 in Paris) was a deaf educator, intellectual and political organiser in nineteenth-century France, and is one of the earliest champions of deaf identity and culture.
In late 1837 Berthier petitioned the French government for permission to create the Société Centrale des Sourds-muets, which was officially founded the following year as the first organisation to represent the interests of the deaf community.
The organisation aimed to bring together "all the deaf spread across the globe... to put speaking and deaf men of intelligence and heart in rapport with each other, no matter the distance, no matter the difference in language, culture and laws," and offered deaf workers a practical avenue to support each other through "mutual aid" and a way to organize and attend adult education classes.