museum6

 

  Deaf History, Europe

                    Work in Progress!

History of Deaf People in Europe: Education, Sign Language Recognition, Politics and more

Work in Progress!

(Click on an item to open it, click again to close it) 

Intro

Intro

Intro

1. What you find on these pages is not really a history. It doesn't explain why events happened or how they are related. It is more like a timeline: a list of important events.

2. On the internet, you can find many timelines for Deaf History or Deaf Education. But many are about American Deaf History. For the timeline below, the focus is on deaf events in Europe. Some USA events are included, because they had major global impact.

3. I 'borrowed' most of the information in the timeline below from other websites. In most cases, I included a link to the original source. Sometimes, I combined sources. 

4. The information in the timeline is in English text. Sometimes videos in national sign languages are included. Sometimes, I translated national texts into English, using Google translate.

5. You can use Google translate (the drop-down list in the top left corner) to translate the English texts into your preferred written language.

6. I have tried to include information about all European countries, but most of the time I had to use English sources - because it is difficult for me to find & access information in other languages. 

7. I started this timeline to prepare for the Deaf Museums project, a EU project that will develop online training and other resources for people interested in preserving and sharing the Deaf Heritage. We applied for funding early 2020, we will know if the project will receive funding sometime late August 2020. If the project is selected for funding, we will have more resources (at the moment: 0 resources) to work on the contents and the format of this timeline. At the moment, it is 'work in progress'. You can find more info about the Deaf Museums project here: www.deafmuseums.eu

8. If you find mistakes or you miss relevant information, please mail me: Liesbeth Pyfers, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hoensbroek, NL, July 2020

1000 BC to 1700

1000 BC: Hebrew Law: Deaf rights denied

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, and are considered unable to enter into transactions requiring responsibility and independence of will. They are regarded as irresponsible persons in the eye of the law, and in many cases their claims upon others, or the claims of others upon them, have no validity. Still, to preserve peace and order, the Rabbis made special provisions for this class in civil, criminal, and ritual cases.

(...)

The deaf-mute, as well as the deaf or the mute, was not competent to be a witness to any transaction; for all testimony was given by word of mouth, and the witnesses had to be able to hear the exhortation of the court.

(...)

According to Biblical law as interpreted by the Rabbis, the marriage of a deaf-mute was not valid; yet the Rabbis sanctioned such a marriage when contracted by signs. Since this was merely a rabbinical provision, it had not the same validity as a perfect marriage; and many complications often arose therefrom.

Source:

800 BC - 146 BC: Ancient Greece

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.

The city of Athens felt that ending the lives of those impaired was in the best interests of the state. This was because war and conflict occurred continuously and certain abilities were considered important to have. Everyone was meant to serve the state.

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

470 - 399 BC: Socrates:

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

Socrates quoted by Plato in "Cratylus" mentions the deaf who express themselves in gestures movement, depicting that which is light or a higher sphere by raising the hands or describing a galloping horse by imitating its motion.

Socrates was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, and as being the first moral philosopher of the Western ethical tradition of thought.

Source:

384 - 322 BC: Aristotle: "Deaf people can not be educated..."

384 - 322 BC: Aristotle:

384 - 322 BC: Aristotle: "Deaf people can not be educated..."

Ancient Greeks denied deaf people education; Aristotle believed that "Deaf people can not be educated without hearing, people can not learn," and those "born deaf become senseless and incapable of reason."

The Greeks viewed the Greek language as perfect and anyone who could not speak to be a barbarian, thus deaf people were barbarians.

Aristotle's belief was viewed as accurate and this idea went unchallenged until the sixteenth century A.D.

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

+/- 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.

Pedius was the son of Roman Senator and orator Quintus Pedius Publicola. Pedius was born deaf. On the advice of his paternal great-uncle Corvinus, and with permission from Augustus, Pedius was taught to paint. The boy turned out to be a talented painter, but died in his youth.

Source:

1454 - 1513: Pinturicchio, Painter (IT)

1454 - 1513: Pinturicchio, Painter (IT)

1454 - 1513: Pinturicchio, Painter (IT)

Pinturicchio, Bernardino an Italian painter of much celebrity, was born at Perugia in 1454. His real name was Betti Biagi, but he was often called Sordicchio, from his deafness and insignificant appearance, but Pinturicchio was his usual name.

He was a disciple of Pietro Perugino (q.v.). His earlier works no longer exist. He never perfected himself in the use of oil mediums, but was confined almost entirely to tempera. He went to Rome, and probably labored with Perugino in the Sistine Chapel.

He afterwards executed almost numberless frescos in the churches and palaces of that city. He was first patronized by the Roveri, and then by the Piccolomini. For Alexander VI he decorated the Apartamento Borgia in the Vatican; five of these rooms still remain in their original state.

His pictures in the Castle of S. Angelo have been completely destroyed. During his engagements in Rome he went twice to Orvieto, for the execution of commissions there.

The amount of his labors was surprising, but is explained by his great facility of execution and the employment of many assistants. He was not original 'in his compositions; he loved landscapes, but he cumbered them with too much detail; his figures of virgins, infants, and angels have a certain coarseness; he used too much gilt and ornamentation; his draperies were full, but often badly cast; his works are either too gaudy or very somber, no pleasing medium seeming to suggest itself to him; his flesh has the red outlines of the earliest tempera; and yet with all these faults he painted at a time when the great precepts of art were well known, and his works are good exponents of skilled labor in art without any striking or exceptional power in the artist.

It is scarcely possible here to give more than a list of the churches in which he painted: in Rome they were the Araceli, S. Cecilia in Trastevere, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, and S. Onofrio. In 1496 he returned to Perugia, and undertook an altar-piece for S. Maria de' Fossi (now S. Anna), to be completed in two years. This is the most finished of his works, and more full of feeling than any other. He next adorned the collegiate church of Spello; but his works there are fast disappearing from the effects of dampness.

From: https://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/P/pinturicchio-bernardino.html 

Also see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinturicchio

Pinturicchio Crucifixion

The Crucifixion with Sts. Jerome and Christopher, 1471, oil on wood, 59 × 40 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome.

Pinturicchio spello

Nativity, at Collegiata di Santa Maria Maggiore, Spello, Italy.

Dark and Middle Ages: Objects of Ridicule

Dark and Middle Ages: Objects of Ridicule

Deaf adults are objects of ridicule and are committed to asylums because their speech and behaviors were viewed as people being possessed by demons.

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

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. He tried to teach his son using a set of symbols.

He said that deaf people were capable of using their minds, argued for the importance of teaching them, and was one of the first to state that deaf people could learn to read and write without learning how to speak first. He was familiar with a report by Rudolph Agricola about a deaf mute who had learned to write.

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)

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".

Ponce de Leon established a school for the deaf at the San Salvador Monastery in Oña. His students were almost all children of wealthy aristocrats who could afford private tutoring.

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.

Ponce de Leon is not known to have developed a working sign language, but there is some indication from the writings of Juan Pablo Bonet—who never credited him for his method—that Ponce de Leon developed a manual alphabet which would allow a student who mastered it to spell out (letter by letter) any word. This alphabet was based, in whole or in part, on the simple hand gestures used by monks living in silence.

Ponce de Leon's work with the deaf was considered bold by contemporaries, as the prevailing opinion among most Europeans in the 16th century was that the deaf were incapable of being educated. Many laymen even believed that the deaf were too simple-minded to be eligible for salvation under Christian doctrine.

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

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.

Like many Spanish painters he journeyed to Italy to soak up the rich traditions of painting and culture.  Navarrete spent several years studying under Italian Master Titianin Venice. 

In 1568 he was selected to become the official court painter to monarch Philip II of Spain. Once in Spain the majority of his career was spent working on altarpieces for the Escorial.

The paintings of Navarrete are rare. He was prolific but several were burned, lost or simply painted over by lesser artists. Navarrete major art-works were Nativity, Abraham and the Three Angels, andBaptism of Christ, 1568, now at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. He became known as the Spanish Titian and died in Toledo.

the baptism of christ juan fernandez navarrete

Baptism of Christ, 1568

The scene depicts the establishment of baptism as a sacrament, when Christ stands in the River Jordan and his cousin, St. John the Baptist, pours water over his head as a purifying ritual. Then God the Father appears in the heavens and pronounces that Christ is his son.

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1585-1634, Hendrick Avercamp, Painter (NL)

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.

His drawings were very popular in his time, and he sold many of them (enhanced with watercolors). His landscapes have a narrative quality, telling the tale of a crowd of people walking, skating, tobogganing, golfing, selling soup, making tea – each busy with a slightly different occupation.

Avercamp1

Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters, Hendrick Avercamp, c. 1608

The high vantage point of this painting turns it into a sampler of human – and animal – activity during a harsh winter. Hundreds of people are out on the ice, most of them for pleasure, others working out of dire necessity. Avercamp did not shy away from grim details: in the left foreground crows and a dog feast on the carcass of a horse that has frozen to death.

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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)

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

In 1620, Juan Pablo Bonet (1573–1633) published the first book on the subject of manual alphabetic signs for the deaf.

It wasn’t until 1885 that it was published in England as Simplification of the letters of the alphabet and method of teaching deaf-mutes to speak. This gave rise to a wider interest in the education of the deaf in Europe.

Bonet’s method was first to teach the written letters; then teach the hand signs for the letters; then teach the pronunciation of the letters. Bonet comments that the pupil learns to lip-read by himself and the teacher must not take credit for this.

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)

1625 - 1700: Johannes Thopas, Painter (NL)

Above: Portrait of Godert Dircksz. Kerckrinck ca. 1662

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.

His earliest known works from 1646, in the collection of the Fondation Custodia in Paris, show that Thopas was a particularly talented draftsman from an early age. He portrayed both famous and unknown people.

The artist was born in Arnhem, after the death of his father his mother remarried a mayor of Emmerich. After that Thopas worked in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Assendelft, because of his disability always under the care of a guardian and living with relatives.

Thopas2

Portrait of probably Catharina Margaretha van Valkenburg. 1682, source: https://rkd.nl/nl/explore/images/128219

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8Po4mdlmFY

Film about Johannes Thopas by Rembrandt House Museum. Sign Language of the Netherlands and English subtitles

 

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

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

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

"   Amontons was one of the earliest scientists to develop improved scientific instruments for measuring temperature and pressure.

Born in Paris in 1663, Amontons became deaf at a very early age. This apparent tragedy served to steer his interests toward books and academia, and later in life he was said to havebeen thankful for the concentration his deafness provided him.

As a youth Amontons attempted to construct a perpetual motion machine, a fruitless attemptthat nevertheless solidified his interest in science and mechanics. After working on several public works projects, Amontons applied his skills to inventing.

One of his first major projects was the invention in 1687 of an improved hygrometer, a device used to measure humidity and which consisted of a mercury-filled ball that expanded or contracted according to the air's water content. Just a year later he constructed a barometer.

Beginning in 1695 Amontons worked on several instruments to be used on ships.Many devices of the age relied upon alcohol, mercury, or other liquids to provide a reading; unfortunately, these liquid-based instruments were thrown off by a ship's constant pitching. Several authors have attributed the invention of a fixed-volume air thermometer to Amontons. However, there is some doubtas to whether Amontons truly constructed such a device, and being the invention is credited to Grand Duke Ferdinand II of Tuscany (1610-1670). What is clear is that Amontons did invent a pressure-independent air thermometeras well as a cisternless barometer, both designed for shipboard use.

Another area of controversy concerning Amonton's life is centered on the theory of an absolute zero temperature. In 1699 Amontons published a series of papers in which he discussed the effect of low temperature upon gas volumes. While he may have considered the possibility of a temperature so low that gas would contract into nothingness, there is little evidence within his papers that Amontons authored the concept of absolute zero. It is quite possible, though, that his work inspired the research of German physicist and mathematician Johann Heinrich Lambert (1728-1777) and William Thomson, a nineteenth-century Irish mathematician and physicist who invented the absolute scale, or Kelvin scale, in 1848.

From: http://www.madehow.com/inventorbios/8/Guillaume-Amontons.htm

Also see: https://www.unusualverse.com/2021/01/amontons-deaf-scientist-inventor.html

Guillaume Amontons 1870

Illustration by Guillaume Amontons in 1690 showing one of his inventions in 1690 (1870 illustration by Hulton Archive)

1669 – 1724: Amman, Johann Konrad (NL)

1669 – 1724: Amman, Johann Konrad (NL)

1669 – 1724: Amman, Johann Konrad (NL)

Hearing. Born at Schaffhausen, Switzerland; moved to Holland and practiced as a physician.

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.

He published two books on his method, Surdus Loquens (1692) and Dissertation de Loquela (1700). His writings had much influence on later European deaf education, becoming the basis of the later "German system" (i.e., oral-only education).

He died in 1724 at Warmond, The Netherlands.

SurdusLoquens

The book, Surdus Loquens, was published in 1692, then translated into English a year later.

The Action on Hearing Loss copy really does have wooden boards, leather covered and with a bite out of the lower right of the front cover.

You can read the whole (short) book on the Project Gutenberg.

Source:

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

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.
He studied mechanics and architecture.
Having become an architect, he was in charge of designing new buildings.

From 1720 to 1725, he was the first deaf teacher known in France who taught deaf children, before the Abbé de l'Epée.

Video:

Source:

1700 - 1800

1712 - 1789: Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

1712 - 1789: Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

1712 - 1789: Abbé Charles Michel de l'Epée

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

He demonstrated that deaf people could develop communication with themselves and the hearing world through a system of conventional gestures, hand signs, and fingerspelling.

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.

"De l'Epée's influence was enormous; his method led to a boom in the development of international deaf education. De l'Epée gave public demonstration lessons and he also taught hearing persons, who would subsequently establish schools for the deaf in their own countries in Europe. This was how de l'Epée's method spread."  

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013.


"As a Catholic institution, the school curriculum applied emphasis to religious studies. Students were also educated in various vocational trades popular during the era. The school's primary focus was on the acquisition of language. The approach made popular by Épée was dubbed signes méthodiques or Methodical Sign.

This consisted of translating French Sign Language and converting it to Épée's French Manual alphabet. This was composed of individual hand shapes and signs used to represent specific counterparts of the written and spoken French language in a direct word for word translation.

This form of methodical sign is also referred to as manual sign, or in this case Signed French. This differs explicitly from French Sign Language, which is a separate language in its own right. Such methods of manual language translation remain popular today, especially in hearing-based educational approaches to deaf education.

from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_institutions_for_deaf_education#Instructional_methodology


 Play video

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1715 – 1806: Thomas Braidwood

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 originally established himself as a writing teacher, instructing the children of the wealthy at his home in the Canongate in Edinburgh.

In 1760, he accepted his first deaf pupil, Charles Shirreff (1749–1829), who later became known as a painter of portrait miniatures. Shirreff, then ten years old, was the son of Alexander Shirreff, a wealthy wine merchant based at the port of Leith, who convinced Braidwood to undertake to teach the deaf-mute child to write.

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. British Sign Language (BSL) was recognized as an official language in 2003.

The success of his students helped create much publicity for the school and Braidwood's methods. His use of oral methods to teach his students articulation and speech were considered impressive to the public.

Many of his students, such as Charles Shireff, went on to pursue successful careers in various fields. However, many did not retain any significant or long term capacity of their oral education. Conversely, many chose career paths that would not require them to use any significant manner of oral communication.

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1723 - 1792: Joshua Reynolds, Painter (UK)

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.

BSLZone Joshua Reynolds

BSL Zone (click on the picture to see the video)

Sharon Hirshman tells us about the life of the Deaf painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, played here by Deaf actor John Wilson. Influenced by a European style, Reynolds changed the direction of English art. At the age of 17, he became an apprentice to the portrait artist Thomas Hudson.

When he became deaf, he first used an ear trumpet then later had to rely on his family to relay information for him. In the most famous painting of him, he is cupping his ear, showing his deaf identity. Hirshman explains how Reynolds later believed his deafness improved his work.

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1727 - 1790: Samuel Heinicke (DE)

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.

(...)

At first, Heinicke used only writing, sign, and gesture to teach but soon he felt that was not enough and he began using speech and lipreading to teach. He taught speech by having students feel the throat. Heinicke felt strongly that having access to spoken language was critical to the development of the thought process. Ironically, though, he had to use sign language and gesturing until his students succeeded in learning to talk.

(...)

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. 

(...)

Twelve years after opening the school, he died and his wife took over running the school. Long after his death, Heinicke was honored by East Germany in 1978 on a postage stamp."

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

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.

Born at Le Fousseret, in the ancient Province of Languedoc (now the Department of Haute-Garonne), and educated as a priest, Sicard was made principal of a school for the deaf at Bordeaux in 1786, and in 1789, on the death of the Abbé de l'Épée, succeeded him at a leading school for the deaf which Épée had founded in Paris.

He later met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet while traveling in England, and invited him to visit the school.

Sicard's chief works were his Eléments de grammaire générale (1799), Cours d'instruction d'un sourd-muet de naissance (1800) and Traité des signes pour l'instruction des sourds-muets (1808).

The Abbé Sicard managed to escape any serious harm in the political troubles of 1792, and became a member of the Institute in 1795, but the value of his educational work was hardly recognized till shortly before his death at Paris.

 On February 25, 1805, Pope Pius VII visited the institution for the deaf and mute in Paris under the direction of Father Sicard.

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1742–1810: Richard Crosse, Painter (UK)

1742–1810: Richard Crosse, Painter (UK)

1742–1810: Richard Crosse, Painter (UK)

Richard Crosse  was a leading English painter of portrait miniatures.

Crosse was born on 24 April 1742 in Knowle, in the parish of Cullompton, Devon; to parents John and Mary Crosse. His father was a lawyer, and his family were members of the landed gentry. Crosse was, like one of his sisters, completely deaf and never able to speak. He had at least six siblings.

Crosse began painting as a hobby, as was the fashion amongst the gentry. At the age of 16 he won a premium at the newly created 'Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce' (the Society of Arts) in London. He then moved to London and, like Richard Cosway and John Smart, he studied at the new drawing school of William Shipley, the founder of the Society of Arts. He also studied at the Duke of Richmond’s Gallery.

Crosse exhibited his work at the new London societies: at the Society of Artists 1760–1796, the Free Society 1761–1766, and the Royal Academy 1770–1796. He lived and worked in Henrietta Street, in Covent Garden, London from 1760. His brother acted as intermediary between Crosse and his clients.

Basil Long in his book "British Miniaturists" (1929) regarded Crosse as a very accurate draughtsman who painted without hesitation or retouching and who will one day receive recognition for his sound, if modest, work.

Despite not being able to hear or speak, Crosse was very successful, and was highly regarded by his distinguished clientele. His clients included the Prince of Wales, and the Dukes of Cumberland and Gloucester. He painted his works mainly with watercolour on ivory; he also executed a few miniatures in enamel, a difficult and not always successful medium; as well as painting portraits in oil.

(..)

Crosse's work is refined, and in the best examples the sitters really look as if they could walk right out of the frame, they are so lifelike. Crosse’s miniatures often seem to be dominated by a shade of greenish-blue, maybe influenced by the early work of Joshua Reynolds. His works tend to have a greenish-blue hue to them, and his red pigments have faded a little over the years. He seldom signed his work."

BSL Zone: Richard Crosse

"Documentary as part of the Deaf History series. This episode is about Richard Crosse, a deaf miniature portrait painter from hundreds of years ago. Reporter Sebastian Cunliffe visits London’s Victoria and Albert museum to look at miniatures dating back to the 16th Century, when photographs did not exist, and these portraits were the only way of preserving the image of loved ones. There, he tells us about Crosse, a deaf man born into the upper classes in Devon, who began painting as a hobby in his teens. When his talent was recognised, he moved to London to begin learning his trade."

 

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1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

1746 - 1828: Francisco Goya, Painter (ES)

Born Francisco de Goya y Lucientes on March 30, 1746 in northern Spain.

Goya was a painter, draftsman and print maker artist who would later be called the “Father of the Modern Era” and be bestowed with the title of “first painter to the king.” 

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.”

Of the nearly two dozen diagnoses that had been proposed as the cause of that illness, none fits the nature of the disorder better than a viral encephalitis, and of those viruses known to cause an encephalitis that results in deafness, none was more likely to have been responsible for destroying Goya’s hearing than the mumps virus.

(...)

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.

goya

The shooting of the rebels on the night of May 3, 1803 by Francisco de Goya

"This picture is not only a masterpiece of Goya, but also one of the highest achievements of European historical painting, its paradigm. It recreates a real event. After the battle of Puerto del Sol, the surviving Spaniards were executed on the night of May 3 at the hill of Principe-Pio.

But the unconditional certainty of the historical fact is translated into a universally significant symbol of heroism and suffering, courageous confrontation with blind and brutal force. Force, devoid of individuality, for the chain of French soldiers is anonymous – we do not see their face.

In the group of Spaniards,each image is individual, each carries a whole world, tragic and doomed. In the picture there is forever a moment before the shot, it finds here a duration, painful and endless." (https://painting-planet.com/the-shooting-of-the-rebels-on-the-night-of-may-3-1803-by-francisco-de-goya/)

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1747 - 1799 : Pierre Desloges

1747 - 1799  : Pierre Desloges

1747 - 1799 : Pierre Desloges

"Born in 1747 in the Touraine region of France, Pierre Desloges moved to Paris as a young man, where he became a bookbinder and upholsterer.

He was deafened at age seven from smallpox, but did not learn to sign until he was 27, when he was taught by a deaf Italian.

In 1779, he 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).

The Abbe de l’Épée has often been credited with the invention of sign language, but this is incorrect. Desloges' book proves that French Sign Language predates the establishment of the famous school for the Deaf in Paris and is truly the invention of deaf people.

Desloges also wrote a number of well-received political books around the time of the French Revolution. The time and place of his death are unknown, but he published a book as late as 1792. Some suggest that he died in 1799."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Desloges

"He relied on writing and a vestigial ability to speak until the age of twenty seven when he learned sign language for the first time. He recalled that even his parents did not believe he was capable of learning a trade and his relatives, friends and neighbours treated him as though he was "beastly, imbecilic and insane".  At the age of only nineteen, he escaped to Paris where he managed to earn a living as a bookbinder and paper-hanger. It was only eight years later that he finally learned how to sign.  He was taught not in class but by the unschooled deaf servant of an actor at the Comédie-Italienne.  Desloges was emphatic that the sign language which the  abbé de l'Épée had developed already existed informally; it was "the natural language of the deaf, a "useful art" that the Parisian community of deaf laborers had established between themselves through "common sense and the company of their own kind".

Also see: http://rodama1789.blogspot.com/2014/12/pierre-desloges-deaf-mute-writer.html 

 

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1750 – 1829: Charles Shirreff, Painter (UK)

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.

His father, Alexander Shirreff, was a wealthy wine merchant of South Leith in Edinburgh. 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.

At the age of 18, in August 1769, Shirreff left Braidwood's Academy to study art in London at the Royal Academy Schools. He graduated in 1772 with a silver medal, and took up a career as a miniaturist." 

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1753 - 1829: Ottavio Assarotti

1753 - 1829: Ottavio Assarotti

1753 - 1829: Ottavio Assarotti

"Ottavio Giovanni Battista Assarotti (25 October 1753 in Genoa – 24 January 1829) was an Italian philanthropist and founder of the first school for deaf people in Genoa, Italy.

After qualifying himself for the church, he entered the society of the Piarists, Padri of the "Scuole Pie", who devoted themselves to the training of the young. In 1801 he heard of the Abbe Sicard's education of deaf people in Paris, and resolved to do something similar in Italy. He began with one pupil, and by degrees collected a small number around him.

In 1805, Napoleon, hearing of his endeavors, ordered a convent to give him a school-house and funds for supporting twelve scholars, to be taken from the convent revenues. This order was poorly attended to until 1811, when it was renewed, and the following year Assarotti, with a considerable number of pupils, took possession of the new school. He continued there until his death in 1829. A pension, which had been awarded him by the king of Sardinia, was bequeathed to his scholars."

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottavio_Assarotti

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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

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

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

He demonstrated that deaf people could develop communication with themselves and the hearing world through a system of conventional gestures, hand signs, and fingerspelling.

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.

Influences and survival of institution

On July 29, 1791 the school was renamed the Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris, which it remains and is active to this day. However, today the institution uses French Sign Language in its educational practices, as opposed to Manual French. Approximately, twenty-one additional schools were later opened in European and other countries, using educational methods inspired by Épée's original vision.

from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_institutions_for_deaf_education#Instructional_methodology


 Play video

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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

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

Deaf from birth, Prádez y Gautier was tutored by his own hearing parents, Pierre Prádez and María Gautier. After her untimely death, Prádez enrolled at the age of 16 in 1789 at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos in Valencia to later work as a painter. In 1797 Prádez went to Madrid to study at the Academy of San Fernando , whose honorary president and previous president was Francisco de Goya , who has since become deaf . He succeeded there, won a competition. His artistic success only lasted until 1801, but until 1804 he received a scholarship .

In May 1805 he turned to the "Royal School for the Deaf and Mute", which was newly founded in January of the same year, and offered his services as a teacher for reading, writing or drawing. The school staff were very pleased about the aspirant, who had the same “physical well-being” as the students. Since the king refused a subsidy because of a lack of funds, Prádez taught for several years without fixed pay.

Both Prádez and the students, whose lot he shared, suffered great hardship during the Spanish War of Liberation from 1811 to 1814. Prádes submitted petitions for donations for clothing, but achieved nothing. Together with his students, Pradez had to move to the poor house in 1812 and ultimately also go begging, some of his students died of diseases and malnutrition .

In 1814, after the French were expelled from Spain, the school was re-established and Pradez and his surviving students were given a new home there.

In 1815 Prádez married Modesta Sierra. As a result of the multiple changes of government, multiple investigations were carried out on the loyalty of the royal employees, which Pradez survived after some difficulties due to contradicting statements with the "clean wash". Prádez remained a teacher at the Royal School until his death on December 7, 1836.

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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

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.

There he learned to read and write French, and later helped develop the first formalized French Sign Language. This French Sign Language was later adapted into American Sign Language. He taught at the famous school for the deaf in Paris where Laurent Clerc was one of his students. He began work after a scandal in Paris in Rodez and dedicated his life to educating deaf children. Later he founded a deaf school in Lille, France.

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

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.

John Goodricke, named after his great grandfather Sir John Goodricke 1617–1670 (see Goodricke baronets of Ribston Hall), was born in Groningen in the Netherlands, but lived most of his life in England.

He became deaf in early childhood due to a severe illness. His parents sent him to Thomas Braidwood's Academy, a school for deaf pupils in Edinburgh, and in 1778 to the Warrington Academy.

After leaving Warrington, Goodricke returned to live with his parents in York. There, he became friends with his neighbour Edward Pigott, whose father Nathaniel Pigott had built a sophisticated private observatory. Edward was already interested in variable stars, and he gave Goodricke a list of those that he thought were worthy of observation.

Goodricke is credited with discovering the periodic variation of β Lyrae and δ Cephei, the prototypical example of the Cepheid variable stars.

Although several stars were already known to vary in apparent magnitude, Goodricke was the first to propose a mechanism to account for this. He suggested that Algol is what is now known as an eclipsing binary.

He presented his findings to the Royal Society in May 1783, and for this work, the Society awarded him the Copley Medal for that year. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 16 April 1786. He never learned of this honour however, as he died four days later from pneumonia. He never married."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Goodricke

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

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

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

Thomas Braidwood, a teacher from Edinburgh, founded 'Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb' in 1760 which is believed to be the first school for deaf children in Britain. The school primarily taught oral communication methods, as described by Francis Green - whose son attended the Braidwood school - in the anonymous treatise Vox oculis subjecta.In this account, Green describes how his son Charles would surely develop "a perfect acquaintance with language both oral and written", and how deaf pupils were given "a tolerable general understanding of their own language [English] so as to read, write, and speak it, with ease". Green also describes Braidwood's views of spoken language:

Mr Braidwood hath frequently intimated to me, as an opinion founded upon his experience in this art, that articulate or spoken language hath so great and essential a tendency to confirm and enlarge ideas, above the power of written language, that it is almost impossible for deaf persons, without the use of speech, to be perfect in their ideas.

Joseph Watson was trained as a teacher of the deaf under Thomas Braidwood. He eventually left in 1792 to become the headmaster of the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Bermondsey. He described his teaching methods in detail in his book, On the Education of the Deaf and Dumb (1809), where he opposed the use of signed versions of spoken language such as the Signed French used in the Paris school. The book contains lists of vocabulary and plates designed to encourage a child to acquire an understanding of written and spoken language.

Although the Braidwood school focused on speech, it also used an early form of sign language, the combined system, which was the first codification of British Sign Language. The Braidwood school later moved to London.

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1778: First School for the Deaf in Germany, Leipzig

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. It was the first oral school for the deaf in the world.

Like Épée's school in France, Heinicke's institution was opened publicly to serve underprivileged deaf youth. However, unlike Épée, Heinicke resolutely opposed the dependence on sign language and, in 1780, published a book attacking the Abbé de l'Épée's use of sign language in the education of deaf students.

He ardently advocated the oral method of deaf education made popular throughout Europe by other prominent contributors to the field, such as Johann Konrad Amman.

Amman theorized that, "The breath of life resides in the voice, transmitting enlightenment through it. The voice is the interpreter of our hearts and expresses its affections and desires." Like Amman, Heinicke believed a spoken language to be an indispensable aspect of a proper education.

Heinicke's institution in Leipzig capitalized on teaching deaf children to lipread and produce speech. Slight augmentations of oralist techniques cultivated by Heinicke were self-proclaimed his own "German system".

Certain well-guarded aspects of this system utilized techniques that would remain unshared with the greater educational community until after his death. His Last Will and Testament revealed one of his techniques to be a method of using the gustatory and olfactory senses to stimulate mental associations for speech development in deaf pupils.

To this approach, Heinicke asserted that, "Sight and touch were not enough to learn the vowels; a third sense must be brought into play." Sugar water, olive oil, vinegar, absinthe, and pure water, were among flavors frequently paired with specific vowel sounds in attempts to create more lasting associations in his students.

Although Heinicke alleged that his methods were of his own creation, an earlier treatise by a deaf linguist in France had been published prior to Heinicke's claims. In his autobiographical letter, Saboureux de Fontenay previously asserted that, "Easily discriminable tastes can represent the sounds of letters and we can put them in the mouth as a means of getting ideas into the mind." 

Many other teachers across Germany were sent by their local governments to acquire training under Heinicke at his Leipzig establishment. A young priest named Hemeling was sent by the duke of Baden, Charles Frederick to learn from Heinicke. Frederick then opened a school for the deaf in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Three son-in-laws of Heinicke also played integral roles in the survival and expansion of the school in Leipzig. His first son-in-law, Ernst Adolf Eschke, established a complementary site in Berlin, before assuming directorship of Leipzig after Heinicke's death. However, Eschke turned away from the oralist methods of his father-in-law in preference of Épée and Sicards manual sign language philosophies. The legacy in deaf education was further carried on by two more of Heinicke's son-in-laws, August Friedrich Petschke and Carl Gottlob Reich, respectively. Reich's own son-in-law, serves today as the school's current director.

The school is still operational to date under the official name Saxon State School for the Hearing Impaired Samuel Heinicke Support Center, commonly referred to as simply Samuel Heinicke School. Today the institution utilizes a blended approach to the education of its students, but continues to apply emphasis to audio-verbal educational therapies and techniques.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_institutions_for_deaf_education#Instructional_methodology

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1779: First School for the Deaf in Austria, Vienna

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. This facility was the third government-sponsored school in Europe, following Paris (1769) and Leipzich (1778). Daughter insitutions of the Viennese Institute were founded all over the Austro-Hungarian empire, including schools in Prague and Milan. 

Confronted by competing methods - the manualist "French method" and the oralist "German method" - the Viennese institution developed a mixed method, using written language, signs, and a manual alphabet as a base for learning spoken language. These teaching methods were supposedly invented by Joseph May and Michöl Venus.

From 1827 on, courses were provided for teachers of deaf students. Through these courses, the Viennese school of deaf education influenced teaching throughout Europe, including institutes in Germany, Copenhagen, St. Peterburg, Vilnius, and Warsaw. 

In 1867, the mixed method was discontinued in Austria in favour of the German method, which was also subsequently endorsed by the Milan Congress of 1880."

from: Austria's Hidden Conflict: Hearing Culture Versus Deaf Culture, by Franz Dotter and Ingeborg Okorn, 2003.

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1779 - 1823: Peter Atke Castberg (DK)

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).

Castberg was very positive about the use of sign language in the teaching of deaf children and was critical of de l'Epée's so-called 'methodical signs' invented to represent grammatical categories of spoken French.

selskab2

Jørgen tells "Red Top" Nielsen about Peter Atke Castberg, one of the very big names in Danish deaf history.


"In the beginning of the nineteenth century, the medical doctor Peter Atke Castberg conducted experiments in Copenhagen with electric stimulation of deaf persons' hearing. The results were very discouraging, however, and extremely painful for the patients, and Castberg ultimately gave up the experiments. But during two visits to discuss similar experiments at the Institute for Deaf-Mutes in Kiel in 1802 and 1803, he saw children signing.

A further inspiration was the French playwright Jean-Nicolas Bouilly's piece L'Abbé de l'Epée, which was performed in theatres all over Europe at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

(...)

After his uncussessful experiments, 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).

Castberg was very positive abouot the use of sign language in the teaching of deaf children and was critical of de l'Epée's so-called 'methodical signs' invented to represent grammatical categories of spoken French. 

(...)

In his writings, Castberg complained that the signs used by deaf people for the same concept varied a lot but found that the best way to create signs that were consistent with the nature of sign language was to ask deaf persons of some intelligence to make a sign, once the concept had been explained to them. According to one of his students, Castberg was himself a very skilled signer.

(..)

The teaching at the institute in Copenhagen was also dominated by signing after Castberg's death in 1823. In 1845, however, one of the teachers, H.V. Dahlerup, received a grant to study the German oral method. After his return, he got permission to use the German method with a few children, an experiment that ended with an exam in 1849. The board of the institute was not impressed and allowed a continuation of the speech method only for children wo were described awkwardly as uegentligt dovstumme, i.e. 'not genuinely deaf-mute' children.

Dahlerup left the institute and founded a private school based on the speech meethod, a school that grew in importance especially after it was taken over by J. Keller in 1855. Following a heated debate between Keller and the headmaster of the institute, H.R. Malling Hansen, the authorities decided in 1867 that all deaf children should be admitted to the institute. After one month, the children were tested and it was decided who was 'genuinely deaf-mute' and should remain at the institute, and who was 'not genuinely deaf-mute' and should be transferred to Keller's school. The system of separating the children according to these somewhat obscure criteria continued for years." 

In: Sign Languages, by Diane Brentari, Cambridge University Press27 May 2010

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

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.

He was taught by Abbe Sicard and deaf educator Jean Massieu, at the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets in Paris.

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 in the old Bennet's City Hotel, Hartford, Connecticut. The school was subsequently renamed the American School for the Deaf and in 1821 moved to 139 Main Street, West Hartford. The school remains the oldest existing school for the deaf in North America.

Clerc's mode of instruction was French signs. His students learned those signs for their studies. However, for their own use, they also borrowed or altered some of those signs and blended them with their own native sign language. As the Hartford students and teachers widely spread Clerc's teachings in his original and in their modified signs, deaf communication acquired an identifiable form. This evolved into the American Sign Language, used in education and assimilated into the personal lives of America's deaf population and its culture. Consequently, about two-thirds of today's ASL signs have French origins. Examples of words that mean the same and have the same signs in American and French are: wine = vin; hundred = cent; look for = chercher.

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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

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

The Institute for the Deaf  was founded on December 7, 1786 in Prague. At its birth, known for its charitable aims, stood a Masonic lodge led by Count Kašpar Heřman Kunigl. With this meritorious deed, the count wanted to pay tribute to the long-awaited arrival of Emperor Joseph II, who himself was the bearer and founder of many beneficial changes for the Czech nation during the Enlightenment. 

This school was operated as the first of its kind in the Czech Republic, the institute started its activities with only six students aged 6 to 36 years. The rented rooms of house No. 671 on the second floor opposite the New Town Hall were used for education.

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. 

Textbooks were essential for teaching. Václav Koťátko was responsible for these, he created the first Czech textbooks for the deaf, which at that time were of great importance for pupils with this disability. He wrote for them Slabikář, 3 notebooks of grammar exercises and a collection of short stories. The author is considered one of the most important Czech teachers for the deaf.

Later, other textbooks were written, which further improved the teaching of the deaf and dumb. In the second half of the 19th century, teachers who were themselves deaf began to teach at the school, and this trend continues to this day.

(from: https://www.skolaholeckova.cz/index.php?type=Post&id=45&ids=44, translation by Google Translate.

For a video in ASL about the school, click on the picture below:

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

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.

In 1804, Eelkema obtained the first prize of the Academy. In 1808 he went back to his home town. In 1814 he was rewarded a stipend and lived in Paris for two years.[1] Eelkema then travelled by foot in France, Switzerland, and Italy, making sketches. In 1820 he had an exhibition of his work in Amsterdam. Afterwards he taught at the Atheneum in Franeker, communicating on a slate.

In 1823 Eelkema visited London, and later worked in a flower shop in Haarlem. In 1830 Eelkema had translated from the French language a theoretical work by the miniaturist André Léon Larue Mansion .He painted until he lost his sight, and died at Leeuwarden in 1839."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eelke_Jelles_Eelkema

The painting at the top: Eelke Jelles Eelkema, painted by his student Cornelis Bernardus Buijs

Stilleven met bloemen Rijksmuseum SK A 3454

Still Life with Flowers (c. 1815–1839)

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

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

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

Henri Daniel Guyot was a minister of the Walloon congregation in Groningen. He considered education for the deaf important. Therefore, on April 14, 1790, he founded the first Institute for the Deaf in the Netherlands together with Hora Siccama, Van Olst and Van Calcar in Groningen. The school had 14 students.

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

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. It was the result of campaigning by a Bermondsey priest, Rev John Townsend, who believed education for deaf children should not just be for the very wealthy.

Click on the pictures below for videos on Deaf Education in the UK (BSL with English subtitles):

Part 1:

The first part of a documentary telling the story of 400 years of Deaf education in the UK, from early sign-language schools onwards. Starting with Thomas Braidwood’s methods, which were part of what is described as the golden age for sign language education from 1792 to the 1860s, we find out how increasing tension in Europe about teaching methods led to the 1880 Milan conference, where a policy of oralism was adopted. But even after technology came in, and sign language was banned from the classroom, Deaf children continued to sign in the playground. Presented by Louise Harte.

Part 2:

The second part of a documentary telling the story of 400 years of Deaf education in the UK. Following the 1880 Milan conference, a policy of oralism was adopted, later encouraged by new technology such as audiograms. But a 1970s report showing that Deaf children were leaving school at 16 with a reading age of less than 10, led to more Deaf children being given a mainstream education. The documentary explores how communication in mainstream classes works and whether parents are making an informed choice about how they educate their child. Presented by Louise Harte.

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

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

Translated into English by Google translate:

"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».

Andreas became deaf at the age of 2, and received inadequate schooling growing up, as a consequence of his disability. The nearest school for the deaf was in Copenhagen and bore the name The Royal Institute for the Deaf and Dumb.

There it was taught according to the French method of sign language and writing; it was through sign language that the students were to learn Danish.

With the help of financial support from the poor service in Trondheim, Andreas was able to start at this school in 1810 at the age of 14 years. He excelled in several subjects, and was employed as "Teacher and Repeater for the Elderly Class of Students" by the school's principal, the Norwegian-born doctor and professor Peter Atke Castberg.

n the period 1815-1817 Andreas Chr. Møller mostly stayed at home in Trondheim, where he taught deaf students at home in his parents' house. When in 1817 there was a vacancy at the school in Copenhagen, a message was sent for Andreas. He was encouraged to apply for the position, which he also received. In the period 1817-1822 he worked as a teacher at the school in Copenhagen.

Principal Castberg called on the Norwegian authorities to establish a school for the deaf in Trondheim with Andreas Møller as teacher. He also offered to give advice and guidance. The proposal was well received, and the bishop of Nidaros forwarded it to the Ministry of Church Affairs with his recommendation.

The first school for the deaf in Norway, and the first Norwegian special school in general, was established by royal resolution on 1 November 1824. The school was named Throndhjem's School for the Deaf and Dumb, and came into operation in the spring of 1825.

(..)

At the end of the 1830s, there was a pedagogical change. It consisted of the school moving away from the French method in favor of the German one, which had a far greater focus on speech and oral reading. Despite this change, Møller remained at the school until 1855.

Source:

1800 - 1900

1753 - 1829: Ottavio Assarotti

1753 - 1829: Ottavio Assarotti

1753 - 1829: Ottavio Assarotti

"Ottavio Giovanni Battista Assarotti (25 October 1753 in Genoa – 24 January 1829) was an Italian philanthropist and founder of the first school for deaf people in Genoa, Italy.

After qualifying himself for the church, he entered the society of the Piarists, Padri of the "Scuole Pie", who devoted themselves to the training of the young. In 1801 he heard of the Abbe Sicard's education of deaf people in Paris, and resolved to do something similar in Italy. He began with one pupil, and by degrees collected a small number around him.

In 1805, Napoleon, hearing of his endeavors, ordered a convent to give him a school-house and funds for supporting twelve scholars, to be taken from the convent revenues. This order was poorly attended to until 1811, when it was renewed, and the following year Assarotti, with a considerable number of pupils, took possession of the new school. He continued there until his death in 1829. A pension, which had been awarded him by the king of Sardinia, was bequeathed to his scholars."

source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottavio_Assarotti

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1767 - 1828: Jean-Baptiste Pouplin (BE)

1767 - 1828: Jean-Baptiste Pouplin (BE)

1767 - 1828: Jean-Baptiste Pouplin (BE)

Jean-Baptiste Pouplin, born in Gisors on October 10, 1767 and died in Liège on April 18, 1828. He was a Belgian teacher of French origin and the founder of one of the first schools for deaf students on the European continent, in Liège in 1819.

Appointed a teacher in Givet in 1797, Jean-Baptiste Pouplin arrived in Liège two years later to exercise the same function.

In 1819, he welcomed into his class two children of a former officer of the Empire, Auguste and Eugénie Frenay, deaf and mute. The news spreads, so much so that at the end of the year, no less than 19 children attend the Pouplin school, rue Souverain-Pont.

After discovering a table with a the finger alphabet, he set out to teach it to his deaf-mute young people. Self-taught, he studied the works of Father Sicard and convinced himself that an adapted education could bring people with these handicaps out of their isolation. He spared no effort to develop his institute and to welcome as many students as possible.

In March 1820, he appealed to the public to raise funds and create a philanthropic association to support his business.

The appeal was heard and on August 27, 1820, the statutes were filed. Among the members, we find Georges Nagelmackers. In 1822, Joseph Henrion, a deaf-mute native of Verviers, a student of Sicard, was added to him as a teacher, and a boarding school was annexed to the school. In 1823, Pouplin's school became the Institut des sourds-muets and, two years later, moved to rue des Clarisses.

(translated from the French by Google Translate)

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1800 - 1883: Tomasso Pendola

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.

Genoese by birth, Pendola began his ecclesiastical career at sixteen, joining the Florentine religious institute of the Poor Regular Clerics of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools, better known as Scolopi. In Florence he devoted himself to the studies of theology, philosophy, mathematics and astronomy.

Five years later (1821) Pendola moved to Siena and began teaching mathematics and philosophy at the Collegio Tolomei.

In Siena he devoted himself almost exclusively to the assistance and education of the deaf. In fact, struck by the poor education of some of them often present in the area of ​​the College, Pendola decided to direct his studies towards Deaf Culture. He studied the writings of the Parisian abbot Roche-Amboise Sicard, met his brother Ottavio Assarotti, who assisted and educated the Deaf in Genoa.

In 1828 he founded the Royal Tuscan Institute for the deaf and dumb in Siena, which three years later became a royal Tuscan boarding school for the deaf and dumb thanks to the financial support of Leopoldo II of Tuscany.

At the Institute, deaf people who came from all over Tuscany and neighboring areas (most of them in conditions of serious economic and social hardship) were welcomed, educated and instructed free of charge. A further aim was to offer adequate professional training to the deaf, in order to guarantee entry into the world of work.

In 1844 the Institute changed its name to the Royal Tuscan Institute for the deaf and dumb (after the death of Pendola it became the Royal Institute of the Pendola for the deaf and dumb in Siena).

Starting from 1871 he adopted the oral method experimented by Abbot Serafino Balestra, and in 1873 he organized in Siena the first International Congress on the education of the deaf and dumb in Siena.

When the work was completed, the validity of the method adopted by Pendola was recognized, and this was also confirmed on the occasion of the International Congress of Milan in 1880. In the same years (1873) Pendola also founded the newspaper L'eduzione dei deadomuti. The Institute assumed relevance not only on a local level: the boarding school hosted deaf people from all over Italy in the following years.

After more than a century, the Institute founded by Pendola ceased to exist autonomously, having merged together with other institutes in the Azienda Servizi alla Persona of Siena.

Translated from Italian by Google Translate

Further reading: https://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/library-rnid/2015/11/06/so-moved-by-these-unhappy-souls-tommaso-pendola-italian-teacher-of-the-deaf/

Siena IstitutoTommasoPendola

Istituto di Tommaso Pendola, Via Tommaso Pendola in Siena

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1800: Eartrumpets

1800: Eartrumpets

1800: Eartrumpets

The use of ear trumpets for the partially deaf dates back to the 17th century. By the late 18th century, their use was becoming increasingly common.

The first firm to begin commercial production of the ear trumpet was established by Frederick C. Rein in London in 1800.
As well as producing ear trumpets, Rein also sold hearing fans, and speaking tubes. These instruments helped amplify sounds, while still being portable.
However, these devices were generally bulky and had to be physically supported from below. Later, smaller, hand-held ear trumpets and cones were used as hearing aids.

eartrumpet2

1803 - 1886:Ferdinand Berthier (FR)

1803 - 1886:Ferdinand Berthier (FR)

1803 - 1886:Ferdinand Berthier (FR)

"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.

Berthier first attended the famous school for the Deaf in Paris as a young student in 1811, when the school was under the directorship of Abbé Roch-Ambroise Sicard. He came from the rural south-east of France to learn basic vocational skills and literacy to prepare him for work as a tradesman.

He was influenced by his teacher Roch-Ambroise Auguste Bébian, a hearing man who had learned French Sign Language and published the first systematic study and defense of the language. Berthier was also struck by two important deaf students of the school who later became teachers: Jean Massieu and Laurent Clerc. By the age of 27 Berthier had become one of the more senior professors at the school.

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. Berthier played a delicate balancing act as a passionate defender of the deaf identity and sign language, while under a repressive social and political climate.

Berthier wrote books about deaf history and deaf culture, noting deaf artists and sign-language poets of his time."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Berthier

Also see: L' association Culture et Langue des signes Ferdinand Berthier (information in French)

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1805: First School for the Deaf in Spain, Madrid

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. Although this was Spain's first state-sponosored school for the deaf, instruction of the deaf had not originated there. In the mid-16th century, PedroPonce de Leon, a Benedicine monk, had taught the deaf sons and daughters of the Spanish nobility.

Nevertheless, in the decades preceding the Royal School's establishment, education of the deaf in Spain had apparently been limited to a few isolated experiments.

The product of one of those experiments was Spain's first deaf teacher of the deaf and a key figure in deaf education during the early 19th century: Roberto Francisco Prádez. 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."

from: Plann, Susan. "Roberto Francisco Prádez: Spain's First Deaf Teacher of the Deaf." American Annals of the Deaf 137, no. 1 (1992): 48-55. 

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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

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

"From 1806, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna sponsored educational 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." (in: H.G. Williams, Founders of Deaf Education in Russia, 1993)

It was founded as an experimental institution by Empress Maria Fedorovna (who sponsored it until 1810) in Pavlovsk in 1806. From 1810 it was situated in the Bip Fortress and from 1820 in St. Petersburg. The first director (in 1810) was J.B. Joffre, a student of the deaf-mute pedagogue R.A. Sikara.

In the mid-19th century the School opened classes in handicraft, cooking, typography, workshop and library.

In 1860, the director Y.T. Speshnev was the first to introduce studies in oral (articulatory) speech.

In 1896-1901, the director A.F. Ostrogradsky leveled education programs for boys and girls and in 1900 closed the mimic faculty.

In 1901, the so-called natural method of lip reading was implemented, which taught lip reading skills from continuous speech rather than from a teacher's articulation. The educational program consisted of Divine Law, Russian, arithmetic, geography, history, the overview of natural sciences and physics, drafting, drawing, modeling and a practical knowledge course, consisting of manual labour for boys and handcrafts for girls. The curriculum was designed for 9 years; children were accepted at the age of 7-9 years.

The school staff consisted of 120 people on scholarship and 42 people who paid. Pedagogues were also trained there to teach deaf-mutes. Among the teachers were the deaf-mute pedagogues G.A. Gurtsov (director since 1824), V.I. Fleri (director since 1838), I.Y. Seleznev (director since 1865), N.M. Lagovsky.

At the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900 the Deaf-Mute School received an honorary diploma for quality education. In 1900, a farm was created for the Deaf-Mute School at Murzinka country house (near Rybatskoe village).

After 1917, the Deaf-Mute School became a part of the Soviet education system. In 1918, it was transformed into the Deaf-Mute Institute (with an affiliated school). In 1924-38 it acquired regional status. Until 1948 it was the Central Boarding School for Children Hearing and Speech Disorders, then after 1948, it became the Leningrad Boarding School #1 for Deaf Children."

From: Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship

By John V. Van Cleve

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1807: First School for the Deaf in Denmark, Copenhagen

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.
In 1839, the Institute was able to move to a newly erected building on Citadelsvej / Kastelsvej in lovely rural surroundings just outside the Castle.
The institute then had 88 permanent residents, many of whom did not come home during the Christmas or Easter holidays, or even during the summer holidays. Water was added in 1858, the first toilet came in 1902, electricity in 1912 and central heating in 1934.
The school's student numbers continued to rise, and the building had to be expanded in 1859 and in 1912. The school on Kastelsvej stopped being a boarding school in the 1950s, but for students who came from far away, student homes were established close to the school. Nevertheless, there were so many students that in 1968 a new building had to be erected, which also had to be expanded in 2001 and 2007.
For 200 years the teaching at the School on Kastelsvej has been based on the use of sign language, hand alphabet and written presentation.

The school was only kindergarten / preschool in the years 1926-1950, after which the students were distributed to the deaf schools in Fredericia and Nyborg according to the Deaf Law of 1926. It is therefore difficult to talk about actual teaching these years. At the same time, the School had increased competition from private schools, with a growing parental interest in teaching their children near the home, rather than sending them to Funen and Jutland.

From 1980 onwards, a two-language model has been taught, which includes sign language and written Danish (oral Danish if possible). This means that more students have been able to complete the regular school graduation exam."

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1809: First School for the Deaf in Sweden, Stockholm

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.

Manillaskolan now:

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

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

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

translated from French by Google Translate

Claudius Forestier is one of the deaf militants of France before the Belle Époque, born July 3, 1810 in Aix-les-Bains and died February 13, 1891 in Lyon.

He 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.

Claudius Forestier came from a middle-class family of seven children. According to Yann Cantin, Claudius' brother, Hyacinthe, is also deaf. In 1819, his parents sent Claudius to the Institut National des Jeunes Sourds in Paris where he met the students Ferdinand Berthier and Lucien-François Guillemont (known as Benjamin)  and he had Auguste Bébian as his teacher.

He is one of the most brilliant pupils of Bébian at the Institution de Paris, where he was a pupil from 1820 to 1826. He was noted, at the age of eight, for his erudition on the wars in Italy. Doctor Blanchet says of him that his gentleness and his good sense make him "the angel of the Institution of Paris".

Between 1826 and 1929, he held the post of instructor and tutor then teacher and supervisor of the National Institute for Young Deaf people despite his numerous requests for the post of professor, which he never had. In 1833, he left the National Institute for Young Deaf people.

He was one of the founders of the Société centrale des sourds-muets in 1838 with Ferdinand Berthier. In 1840, he became a professor at the mixed deaf-mute institution of Lyon, founded by a Deaf David Comberry, his father-in-law, who died in 18342. Then he became its director while retaining his post as professor.

He then owns a building in order to create an institution for deaf boys in Lyon, Claudius takes care of the management of this one and his wife Agathe Comberry, the direction of deaf girls.

Claudius participated in the Milan Congress in September 1880. He died on February 13, 1891 in Lyon, bequeathing his institution to Abbots Lemann-Lévy, twin brothers who failed in their mission to restore the institution.

Source: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Forestier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKNkh_GZAkg

NOVEMBRE2014 20 3

 19 November 2014 the Louhans Museum of Deaf History and Culture received an important piece, the face of Claudius Forestier (1810-1891).

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1814 - 1865: Václav Frost (CZ)

1814 - 1865: Václav Frost  (CZ)

1814 - 1865: Václav Frost (CZ)

translated from Czech by Google translate: 

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.

He studied at the grammar school in Mladá Boleslav, held philosophical studies in Prague and theological studies in Litoměřice.

In 1837 he was appointed chaplain to Mšen, where he began to teach deaf-mute children from the surrounding area on his own initiative.

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. (...)

He published the pictorial "Orbis pictus" and a German textbook in two volumes for the deaf and dumb. For numerous merits for the deaf and dumb, he was awarded the "Golden Cross of Merit with a crown" and appointed honorary constitutional council of Budweis. Bn.

Video in Czech sign language: 

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

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

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

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787 - 1851) was a Congregational minister, who helped his neighbour’s young deaf daughter, Alice Cogswell. In 1815, he travelled to Europe to study methods of education for the deaf.

In England, Abbe Roche Ambroise Sicard (he successor to Abbé de l'Épée) invited him to his school for deaf in Paris.

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

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

A chance meeting between theology graduate Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and nine year old Alice Cogswell, Gallaudet's deaf neighbor, launched a legacy that continues to this day. The former traveling salesman and aspiring itinerant preacher was engaged by Alice's father, physician Mason Cogswell, to study the methods of the renowned Braidwood family for teaching the deaf.

Gallaudet set sail to Great Britain only to be disappointed with the Braidwood oral method program. While in London, however, he chanced to meet the French educators Abbe Sicard, Laurent Clerc, and Jean Massieu, of the Institut Royal des Sourds-Muets in Paris, who were abroad promoting their success with a manual communication method of instruction.

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.

read more: https://www.gallaudet.edu/about/history-and-traditions/150th-anniversary/gallaudet-history

and:

The Gallaudet University Timeline. This timeline, developed by Gallaudet University Archives, traces 150 years of campus history 1864-201: https://www.gallaudet.edu/about/history-and-traditions/historical-timeline

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1819: First School for the Deaf in Belgium - Walloon

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. This former officer was born in Gisors in France.

Brother Orest wrote the following: "It happened on 2 June 1819. In a separate room, next to the classroom where in his capacity of a qualified teacher in Liège (Wallonia) he taught every day, Pouplin had assembled four deaf pupils. He was trying to teach them how to read and write, among other things by using an illustration of the hand alphabet for the deaf and dumb he chanced upon."

Pouplin was inspired by the example of th Groningen institute for the deaf of H.D. Guyot (their success of attracting donations and pupils). In March 1820, he made an appeal to benefactors and he continued to raise funds. 

In Februari 1822, 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."

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013

1820: First school for the deaf in Belgium - Flanders

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.

"Before special education for deaf pupils was available, canon Petrus Jozef Triest visited the French capital and also the oldest institute for the deaf in Paris. He also learnt that the Dutch King William I sympathized with the fate of handicapped people. It inspired him to act: in Ghent the Royal Institute for Deaf Girls was founded in 1820, run by the Sisters of Charity. (..)

A passage from the book "Kanunnik Triest, Stichter van de congregatie der Zusters van Liefde van Jezus en Maria. Zijn leven, zijn geest, zijn werken (1926)" reads as follows:
"Monsignor Triest also felt a need to found a new school for deaf boys. He got in touch with William I, who was of the opinion that the Institute of Guyot was best suited to offer support. With the cooperation of the governor of East Flanders, canon Triest sent a request to William I to send a number of brothers at the expense of the state to Groningen, which took place on 7 April 1822.

Under the supervision of the Dutchman Henri Daniel Guyot, Brother Aloïs Bourgois and Brother Xavier Cuyck were taught how to organize education for the deaf. (...)

On 17 March 1825, they started with twelve pupils, the oldest being 31 years old. The institute was established in the Byloke building."

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013

 

Click to see a video in FSL (Vlaamse Gebarentaal).

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1823 - 1875: Bruno Braquehais, photographer (FR)

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.

His photographic work documenting the 1871 Paris Commune is considered an important early example of photojournalism. 

In March 1871, a group of disenchanted soldiers, workers, and professionals seized control of Paris and set up a government known as the Paris Commune. This was one of the first major events in France to be "covered" by photographers. While many of these photographers focused on the ruins and destruction in the aftermath of the fall of the Commune, Braquehais ventured out of his studio at the height of the Commune's power, photographing its participants and events, most notably the toppling of the Vendôme Column. Braquehais published 109 of his photographs in a booklet, Paris During the Commune. After the fall of the Commune, government authorities used Braquehais's photos to track down and arrest the Commune's supporters.

In the years after the Paris Commune, Braquehais struggled financially, though he did do photographic advertising work for a clock company. By early 1874, he was bankrupt, and was jailed for 13 months for loss of confidence. He died in February 1875, a few days after his release.

While largely forgotten after his death, his work was rediscovered during preparations for the Commune's centennial in 1971, and his photographs have since been the exhibited at numerous museums, including the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Carnavalet Museum.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Braquehais

Place vendame bbraquehais

Communards pose with the toppled statue of Napoleon following the destruction of the Vendôme Column on May 8, 1871

Paris Commune barricade

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1825: First school for the Deaf in Norway, Trondheim

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.

Screen Shot 06 05 20 at 11.16 AM

Click on the picture for a video (Norwegian Sign Language) , of the story of Norway's first deaf deaf school teacher Andreas Christian Møller. The film was made by students at A.C. Møller school and was shown in connection with the school's 190th anniversary and at the Culture Meeting in Holmestrand.

Former School for the Deaf in Trondheim (NO), now the Norwegian Museum of Deaf History and Culture.

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1826 - 1863: Carl Oscar Malm (Finland)

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. The cause of his deafness is unknown. It was guessed that his wet-nurse’s scabies could have been the cause, as it was transmitted to Malm and caused his ears to exude a substance mixed with blood during the illness. Efforts to cure the deafness included electric current at a physicist’s practice in Stockholm, but nothing worked.

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. 

In autumn 1846, Malm decided to open a private school for the deaf in Porvoo. The school started its operation at the beginning of October at Malm’s father’s house, in the address Kankurinkuja 5. At first, his former private students were the school’s only students. Malm believed, nonetheless, that there were plenty of deaf people in Finland who yearned for education. Therefore, he asked the Diocesan Chapter of Porvoo to find out how many deaf people there were. The result of this count in 1848 was that there were 1,466 deaf people in Finland, 602 of whom were under 20 years of age.

The board filed an application to the senate in 1858 for a state-funded school for the deaf. That same year, the senate issued a decree on founding the school in Turku. The aim of the school was to provide the deaf teaching in keeping with the general popular education.

Malm was accepted as a teacher at the school without application proceedings, but as the headmaster, they wanted someone with perfect hearing and speaking abilities, along with a clerical education if possible. Malm moved to Turku in summer 1859 and the school started its operation in January 1860.

At the Porvoo school, Malm used the teaching methods he had learned at the Manilla school. Manilla emphasised the importance of learning the sign language, finger spelling and written language. Malm regarded the written language as a necessity for the sake of information acquisition and communication with the hearing.

Malm considered sign language as deaf people’s natural mother tongue and emphasised that it could be used to express everything that speech could. Deaf students needed to learn two languages, however: the written and the signed. They learned the written language through the signed language. In other words, Malm’s teaching method aimed at bilingualism.

Malm’s work at the state school for the deaf in Turku was short-lived: he fell ill and passed away as the semester ended, on 8 June 1863 at the young age of 37. A story is told in the deaf community that Malm had helped a horse that had fallen into a river. He became ill as a result, and died shortly thereafter. Malm was buried in Turku. He had only worked at the school of his dreams for three and a half years. 

 

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1829 - 1907: Paul Ritter, Painter (DE)

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 attended the school for the deaf and mute under the direction of Michael Völkel in Nuremberg. He studied painting and graphics at the Nuremberg School of Applied Arts and traveled to France, Italy, Denmark and Austria.

Ritter 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.

His best-known pictures in the Nuremberg collection include the old show in Nuremberg with the reception of Gustav Adolf in 1632, the beautiful fountain in 1632, the introduction of the imperial regalia in Nuremberg in 1424 and the white tower with its surroundings.

He worked closely with his brother Lorenz Ritter (1832–1921) throughout his life. In 1888 Paul Ritter was appointed royal professor by Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria. With the help of his brother, he taught at the Nuremberg School of Applied Arts. Paul Ritter is considered the most important architectural painter of German historicism. On the 100th anniversary of his death, he was honored with a large exhibition in autumn 2007 by the collection of paintings and sculptures in the Nuremberg Museums."

From: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Ritter_(Maler,_1829), translation into English: Google Translate

Alte Schau Ritter 1884 

"The old show in Nuremberg"

1832 - 1899: Ernst Sokolovski (Estonia)

1832 - 1899: Ernst Sokolovski (Estonia)

1832 - 1899: Ernst Sokolovski (Estonia)

Ernst Sokolovski was born on February 8, 1833, in Roopi Church Manor, Latvia, as the son of teacher Georg Sokolovski. 

On May 26 (June 5, according to the new calendar), 1863, Sokolovski met a deaf boy for the first time. This happened when, after the service, Vändra's teacher Sokolovski and his wife sat on the steps of the church manor and heard the child squeak. There came Hans Keres, son Mart. The boy tried his best to get rid of his father. Sokolovski marveled at the detained child in his father's hand. Hans argued that Mart did not care about his father's prohibition and order because he was deaf and had brighter legs. Sokolovsky's heart told him: he must also teach the deaf.

Ernst began to study carefully the German literature on the teaching of the deaf and took part in classes in a manor near Tartu, which was given by The Hague, a deaf educator from Germany. Having thus become acquainted with the way in which the deaf were taught, in 1864 he took the boy and another Kurdish child living nearby to the manor and taught them to speak and write daily. Mart Keres and Kai Loorents were the first Kurds taught to speak in Estonia.

Teacher Sokolovski invited the members of the congregation to see and listen to how one deaf child had learned to speak, write and calculate well with him in one year after the service. A number of people saw a 13-year-old boy from the Vändra congregation, who was born deaf and without a tongue, uttering in a very audible and beautifully clear way what he saw on the picture in front of him, understood the speech and wrote down what was told to him.

The officials and Livonian synods asked Sokolovski to expand his work and establish a school for the deaf. Johannes Eglon, 30, was invited to Ernst Sokolovski on the recommendation of the director of the Valga School Teachers' Seminary. Under Sokolovsky's leadership, Eglon learned how to teach the deaf. Soon a school for the deaf was built near Vändra Church, which after its first benefactor was called the "Gotthard School". Vändra's teacher Sokolovski handed over the key to the new schoolhouse to Eglon, who then opened the schoolhouse door and entered with the children and escorts. With this, the Vändra School for the Deaf was opened on December 11 (December 23, according to the new calendar) in 1866.

 On February 26, 1899 (March 10, according to the new calendar of 1899), he died at the age of 66 from a sudden heart attack. 

 

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

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

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

Fritz Hirn was born in 1834 to a wealthy officer family. Fritz became deaf after a scarlet fever at the age of four. There were no Deaf schools in Finland in Fritz’s childhood, but when young C. O. Malm arrived from Stockholm, Manilla School, Fritz Hirn became his private student in 1846.

Due to Deaf schools, in 1880′s sign language had been used in Finland for around 20 years and the amount of sign language users was growing.

The biggest number of sign language users lived probably in Turku, where they by and by developed a habit of meeting at Fritz and Maria Hirn’s home every Sunday. The most important thing must have been sign language using company. The vivid life at home was gradually too much for Fritz, and following the example from Stockholm he decided to suggest forming a club.

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

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.

"The shape that Deaf space took was an annual banquet, held each year in November to
celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the school’s founder, the Abbé de l’Epée. Banquets were a traditional protest event in nineteenth-century France, and the Parisian deaf-mute banquets were no different. They were “reversed,” carnivalesque events in which Deaf people became the majority, sign language the norm, hearing people the minority, and spoken French the “foreign” language. The events themselves were subscription-based, black-tie dinners that adhered to a standard format: a sumptuous meal followed by speeches and toasts (Graff, JSM, November 1900: 175; Gulliver 2004). They quickly established themselves as a central feature on the Parisian Deaf calendar."
from: Gu l l i v e r , M . (2015). The Emergence of International Deaf Spaces inGu l l i v e r , M . (2015). The Emergence of International Deaf Spaces in France from Desloges 1779 to the Paris Congress of 1900. In It's aSmall World: International Deaf Spaces and Encounters (pp. 3-14).Gallaudet University Press.

1844 -1914: Félix Martin (sculptor, FR)

1844 -1914: Félix Martin (sculptor, FR)

1844 -1914: Félix Martin (sculptor, FR)

Félix Martin was born deaf on June 2, 1844 in a bourgeois family. He is the nephew of Alexandre Martin. In 1855, he entered the  Institut national des jeunes sourds in Paris, then at the National School of Fine Arts where he studied with Pierre Loison, Jules Cavelier, Francisque Duret and Eugène Guillaume.

He attended the French School in Rome. Félix Martin participated in the Salon de peinture et de sculpture in 1864 and in the concours de la tête d'expression where he won the Caylus prize in 1865.

The sculptor participated in the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889 where he obtained a medal bronze. Then, he participates every year in the Salon des Artistes almost until his last years of life. He was named Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1879.

Sculpture Felix Martin

"L'abbé de l'Epée" de Félix MARTIN (1844-1916)
(Située dans la cour d’honneur de l’Institut nationale de jeunes sourds de Paris)

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1847 - 1922: Alexander Graham Bell (USA)

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.

Beyond his scientific work, Bell was an advocate of compulsory sterilization, and served as chairman or president of several eugenics organizations.

Confessions

Zoom Focus: Confession

An historical drama (in BSL and English subtitles) set during Victorian England

Drama. Exploring issues in Deaf education, Confession’s central characters are inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his deaf wife, Mabel. The film looks at Bell’s anti sign language stance and shows the effect of his ideas on Deaf people.  What does Mabel think of all this?

Starring Sophie Stone as Mabel, this drama was directed by Julian Peedle-Calloo as part of the BSLBT’s Zoom Focus scheme.

Winner of Best Art Direction at Toronto Deaf Film Festival (2013)

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1856: Publication of Iconography des Signes, by Pélissier

1858: First School for the Deaf in Finland, Porvoo

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.

Malm worked as a teacher in Porvoo for over ten years. During that time, he endeavoured to get the government to take responsibility for instruction of the deaf. This goal was achieved in 1858 when an imperial decree was issued for the establishment of a school for the deaf in Turku, SW Finland. Because of his deafness, Malm was not appointed director of the school but he was chosen as a teacher without a separate application.

In his school inauguration speech, Malm said that he was happy because he had been allowed to prepare the way for the education of the deaf-mute, "though such efforts were only the result of God's will" and he himself was merely "a humble tool."

Malm's career in the Turku School for the Deaf was short. He died of pneumonia on 8 June 1863 at the early age of 37. 

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1860 - 1911: Heinrich Fick, Painter (DE)

1860 - 1911: Heinrich Fick, Painter (DE)

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

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

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

Born in 1861 to German immigrants in Baltimore, Md., Veditz became deaf at age 8 due to scarlet fever. He was fluent in spoken English and German, among several other languages.

After he became deaf, he was privately tutored until he was 14, when he enrolled at the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) in Frederick. Although MSD at the time primarily trained its students in shoemaking, the school's principal hired Veditz as his private secretary and bookkeeper. Veditz wanted to enroll at Gallaudet in 1878 but could not afford to finance his education. (...)

In 1880, Veditz finally enrolled at Gallaudet, where he studied education. He graduated in 1884 as valedictorian of his class, and returned to MSD to teach for four years. He earned a master's degree from Gallaudet in 1887.

(..)

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. 

Veditz was driven by the injustices he saw that included job discrimination, repression of sign language, and the overall treatment of deaf people as second-class citizens.

(...)

During his lifetime, Veditz also founded what would become the Gallaudet University Alumni Association and was involved in a World Congress of the Deaf held in conjunction with the World's Fair.

He passed away in Colorado at age 75.

 

To see the film, go to: http://hsldb.georgetown.edu/films/film-view.php?film=slpreservation&signer=Veditz 

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1866: First School for the Deaf in Vändra, Estonia

1866: First School for the Deaf in Vändra, Estonia

1866: First School for the Deaf in Vändra, Estonia

"For centuries, it has been thought that deaf people are stupid because they could not speak properly. No one knew sign language, nor was it understood to be a real language (M. Woolley 2000, 8).

The first data on deafness and the teaching of the deaf in Estonia date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. They are related to the University of Tartu (Academia Gustaviana). Namely, it was completed here in 1645. under the supervision of Professor Johannes Eric Laurentius Emzelius' book “Disputatio physica de sensibus in genere et de auditu in specie…” (About the mind in general and hearing in particular…).

In March 12, 1709, Heinrich Niederhof, Professor of Speech and Poetry at the University of Tartu, visited Pärnu during the war. He was the chief inspector of Pärnu schools and at the same time the chief pastor of St. Nicholas Church, where he also gave sermons in Estonian. During the visit, the professor told the Chief Inspector, among other things, about his work in teaching the deaf. The professor claimed that he had benefited greatly from the book “Surdus loquens” by the Dutch physician Johann Konrad Amman, which is considered to be the first source on teaching the deaf in Estonia. 

Pastor Ernst Sokolovski was a relatively progressive man of his time. He not only took care of the religious side of the members of his congregation, but also tried to help raise their economic and educational level. Sokolovski often stayed abroad and got acquainted with the organization of school there during these trips. It is known that at that time 33 school-age deaf people lived in Pärnu parish. It is likely that Pastor Sokolovski came into contact with deaf children while inspecting schools and visiting the homes of church members.

It can be assumed that from these contacts and the phenomenon abroad, Pastor Sokolovski had the idea to start teaching deaf children in Estonia as well. This required a corresponding school, the establishment of which was decided in the affirmative.

The initial capital for the construction of the schoolhouse was the estate of Baron Krüdener - 1000 rubles. To this was added fundraisers through the congregation. They were not enough to complete the school building, and the missing money was taken into debt, which was only repaid over the years. The area between the Paide and Viljandi roads leaving Vändra was chosen as the location of the school building. This land belonged to the landlord von Ditmar and had to be rented from the landlord (100 years of the Estonian School for the Deaf 1966, 6).

In 1866, under the leadership of Pastor Ernst Sokolovski, a school for the deaf was opened in Vändra. (Kotsar, Kotsar 1997, 9).
Vändra School for the Deaf started teaching with 9 students. The school course lasted 7 years. The first of the subjects was religion. Arithmetic, grammar, geography, science, drawing and work were also taught. As religious education had an important place in the school, the school course also ended with a camp (100 years of the Estonian School for the Deaf 1966, 14).

The definite oral (oral) teaching, which was influenced by Germany, dominated in Estonia until the middle of the 20th century (R. Toom,  http://www.ead.ee/ uuringimustööd / Linguistic variability of the deaf in communication).

Rehkenduse

“Rehkenduse” class at Vändra School for the Deaf in 1922.

 

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

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

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

Iceland was part of the Kingdom of Denmark until 1918. Until the first Icelandic teacher, Rev. Páll Pálsson, was employed in Iceland in 1867, Icelandic deaf children attended a school in Copenhagen.

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.

In 1874, Pálsson outlined his objectives for teaching his students in a newspaper article. He wanted his students to be able to express their thoughts and be understood through writing, finger language and pointing, and did not care about speaking Icelandic or lip reading. 

In 1922, the Danish Mouth-Hand system was adopted as the new teaching method, with the objective of having the students speak and understand speech augmented with finger spelling and signs. A change was made in 1944 to the educational system and Oralism was adopted. All signing was banned in the classroom because the sole objective of Oralism was to teach the students to speak and understand Icelandic.

In the early eighties, new principal Guðlaug Snorradóttir introduced a new teaching method called Total Communication to the Deaf School. The Total Communication method involved using multiple methods for communicating, including the manual alphabet, signs, gestures, lip-reading, and writing. This was not teaching Icelandic Sign Language as they only taught single signs and no grammar.

The main objective of the school remained teaching the students to speak and understand Icelandic. The teachers at the school did not know Icelandic Sign Language, and so the students could only communicate with them through speaking.

Berglind Stefánsdóttir was appointed as the first deaf principal of the Deaf School in 1996. It was during her term that bilingualism became the objective for students.

In 2002 the Deaf School was merged into the hearing school, and while bilingualism was still promoted, the deaf children were still being taught with techniques developed for hearing children. Icelandic Sign Language has only a marginal role in the classroom.

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1870's: Deaf Victorians in the UK

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. 

In the 1870s, the centre for the Deaf community in London was St Saviour’s Deaf Church, which was more than just a place of worship.  We learn about the lives of Charles Webb Moore, Jane Elizabeth Groom and Skirving Thomson; three very different people who were all connected via the church. 

Features input from experts and one of the Deaf Victorians’ present day family members. A Deaf Heritage and Nextshoot co-production, written, produced and presented by Norma McGilp.

DeafVictorians

Click on the picture to see the documentary ^

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1877 - 1906: Slava Raškaj, Painter (Croatia)

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.

Slava was born in the family of the local administrator Vjekoslav Raskaj and his wife Olga, and her name Slava means Glory in Croatian. Until the age of seven she lived with her family.

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

Until the age of fifteen (1885 - 1893) she lived in an institution for deaf children in Vienna, Austria. Under the influence of an art instructor she kept developing in the area of painting and drawing.

Back home, in 1895, persuaded by the local teacher in Ozalj Ivana Otoic-Muha, she left for Zagreb to attend the art school. In 1896 her instructor was painter Bela Cikos-Sesija.

Slava's repertoire was peculiar - dark shades of still life, watercolor paintings containing strange objects as the starfish, silver jewelry chest, and even more interesting, the pairs of objects as a red rose and an owl, or a lobster and a fan.

Mrs. Otoic helped her to open her own atelier. It was the small, white painted room, once the mortuary. Her first aquarel was done there and most probably today's famous self-portrait from the year 1898. Next year, the actress spent at home in Ozalj, wandering in the nature, drawing the landscapes, perfecting her favoured medium technique, enriching them with her already unique and distinguished style and sensitivity.

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.

In her twenties Raškaj was diagnosed with acute depression and was institutionalised for the last three years of her life before dying in 1906 from tuberculosis in Zagreb.

waterlilies

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1880: Electrotherapy

1880: Electrotherapy

1880: Electrotherapy

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

Some aurists recommended a course of electrotherapy aided by weak solutions of iodine of zinc to simulate discharge.
Other aurists applied electric currents directly into sites of ulcers in the ear to produce a rapid growth of healthy granulations and thus restore hearing.

It was believed that electricity could correct deafness caused by paralysis of the auditory nerves, which prevented sound vibrations from being transmitted properly to the eardrum.

1880: the Milan Conference

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.

The first two of eight resolutions passed by the convention:

  1. The Convention, considering the incontestable superiority of articulation over signs in restoring the deaf-mute to society and giving him a fuller knowledge of language, declares that the oral method should be preferred to that of signs in the education and instruction of deaf-mutes.
  2. The Convention, considering that the simultaneous use of articulation and signs has the disadvantage of injuring articulation and lip-reading and the precision of ideas, declares that the pure oral method should be preferred.

After its passage in 1880, schools in European countries and the United States switched to using speech therapy without sign language as a method of education for the deaf. As a result, deaf teachers lost their jobs, as there was an overall decline in deaf professionals, like writers, artists, and lawyers.

A formal apology was made by the board at the 21st International Congress on Education of the Deaf in Vancouver, BC, Canada, in 2010 accepting the dangerous ramifications of such ban as an act of discrimination and violation of human and constitutional rights.

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1885: First School for the Deaf in Croatia, Zagreb

1885:  First School for the Deaf in Croatia, Zagreb

1885: First School for the Deaf in Croatia, Zagreb

"Adalbert Lampe was born deaf in Petrinja in 1842 and as in that time there was no school for the deaf in Croatia, his parents sent him to the Institution for the Deaf at Vienna.

Lampe graduated with distinction, and at the institution learned the bookbinder's trade. After his return to his home, he worked as a civil servant and was eminently successful, because no such skilled bookbinder could be found in the whole neighborhood.

After a chance meeting with the mother of a deaf boy, named Ivan Smolec, she asked him to help her son. He gave up his business at Petrinja and moved to Agram, where, on account of his particularly fine handwriting, he secured a position as a clerk in the Provincial Government of Croatia.

On 14 November 1885, he started as a private teacher in Agram (the former name of Zagreb) and obtained good results. This was the first time in Croatia that several deaf children were jointly instructed. In the annual report of 1888 it states that there are no official papers of the foundation of the institute by Lampe are present.

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."

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013

 Adalbert Lampe

1890: British Deaf Association (BDA)

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.

The BDA’s formation followed the failure of an 1889 Royal Commission on the education of deaf children to consult Deaf people, after which an article, also in the magazine Deaf Mute, urged Deaf people to unite in defence of their own interests.  Four determined Deaf men, including the BDA’s founder Francis Maginn, organised the “National Conference of Adult Deaf and Dumb Missions and Associations” at St. Saviours Church for the Deaf, London, in January 1890.  The conference's purpose was to consider the formation of a national society to “elevate the education and social status of the Deaf and Dumb in the United Kingdom” and resulted in the BDA being formed later that year.

The 1890 conference was also a belated response to an international congress held in Milan ten years earlier, attended mainly by hearing teachers of deaf children, which passed a resolution banning the use of sign languages throughout the world. Enthused delegates returned home from all over Europe to weed out Deaf teachers, to eradicate the use of sign language in schools, and to cut down classes to sizes that could be managed by hearing teachers.

The BDDA was subsequently founded at a time of intense controversy about the use of sign language and finger-spelling in the education of deaf children, and about the exclusion of Deaf people from national decisions that affected their lives.  In a world dominated by hearing people, hearing people acted on behalf of Deaf people, but they did not represent their true interests or share their aspirations.

The BDDA removed the world “Dumb” from its title in 1971 to become the BDA.  At this time it was still an entirely voluntary body, but in the following year, the newly-styled BDA appointed its first salaried General Secretary, Allan Hayhurst.   Under his leadership, the BDA started to provide a number of community-based services and began to promote its beliefs more publicly, especially its commitment to Total Communication.  This meant the use of all available means of communication such as Sign Language, finger-spelling, lip-reading, amplified sound, writing, mime & gesture, and speech.

Following the re-appraisal of the BDA’s role at its 1980 Congress, the BDA also turned its attention to mobilising the support of the hearing community.  Its aim was,  and still is, to develop greater understanding throughout the UK of what deafness means, and to fundraise for its community development and campaigning programmes."

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1893 - 1975: Gustinus Ambrosi, Sculptor (AT)

1893 - 1975: Gustinus Ambrosi, Sculptor (AT)

1893 - 1975: Gustinus Ambrosi, Sculptor (AT)

(translated from German by Google translate)

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

As early as 1902 at the private deaf-mute institute in Prague, he laid the foundation stone for his further professional career in a modelling course.

After the death of his father, the family moved to Graz in 1909, where Ambrosi trained at the master school for modelers at the k. k. Trade school.

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.

In the interwar period, Ambrosi became an internationally sought-after portraitist of public figures who, in addition to Vienna, also had studios in Rome, Paris and Cologne. In 1925 he presented as an Austrian commissioner at the III. Biennale in Rome among others works by Alfons Walde and Egon Schiele.

Because of his proximity to Austrofascism, Ambrosi was considered politically unreliable by the Nazi regime, even though Hitler personally considered him one of the most capable sculptors in Germany. When Vienna was bombed in 1945, his studio and most of his works were destroyed.

In the Second Republic, Ambrosi was again able to carry out official portrait commissions. Ambrosi committed suicide on July 1, 1975 and is buried in an honorary grave of the city of Graz at the St. Leonhard cemetery. His retirement home in Stallhofen in western Styria, which he planned and built himself, now houses an Ambrosi Museum. The Ambrosi Museum in Vienna's Augarten, opened in 1978, is now looked after by the Belvedere."

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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

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

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 almost every country in Europe and in the United States. At that time, many associations, especially regional ones, were created.

There is a deaf-mute defense committee, a central society, an assistance society, a central education and assistance society, a universal society and many others.

The culture of the deaf begins to spread. The associative world of the deaf is getting organized but the financial difficulties encountered often upset these still fragile associations and create conflicts which cause a chain of creations and disappearances of associations.

Despite the decision of the Milan Congress (1880) not to use Sign Language in schools, the deaf continue to regroup. Sign Language is passed down from generation to generation thanks to young deaf people who are mainly in boarding schools and who continue to express themselves in signs, hiding from hearing for fear of punishment. Over the years, deaf adults try to create a federation but without success until 1893 when the movement begins:

1893  The first grouping of associations of the deaf in France.

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.

Banquet Silencieux

Banquet Silencieux

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

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

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

Who was Kazimierz Wiszniewski? It turns out that in the history of art we have famous deaf artists who were known and respected in their time.

The project "Poland enchanted in the art of Kazimierz Wiszniewski" tells about his life and his work. His work is somewhat forgotten today and the aim of the project is to restore the memory of Kazimierz Wiszniewski as 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 and deserves to be introduced to the deaf and hard of hearing in the form of film materials and publications posted on the project website.

 

YouTube Kazimierz Wiszniewski

Video in Polish Sign Language with Polish subtitles. But you can select 'automatic translation' to see the subtitles in your own language. 

Source: https://images.app.goo.gl/gKFRSxjYQ2H8no4K7

Source:

1898: First School for the Deaf in Bulgaria, Sofia

1898: First School for the Deaf in Bulgaria, Sofia

 

"The first school for the deaf was founded in Sofia in 1898 by Ferdinand Urbich, an acknowledged German teacher of the deaf. He was born in Kreutzburg on Vera in Germany.

He completed his teacher's training in Eisenach and started his career in education teaching deaf pupils in Weimar, and afterwards in Hamburg for three years. He then taught a deaf boy in Heidelberg for eleven years. It was there that he met a number of Bulgarian students, Nicola Petkov from Vidin and Nicola Zlatin from Sofia. Urbich asked them if Bulgaria already had a school for the deaf. They did not and Urbich felt it as his duty to do something for the deaf people in Bulgaria and thus he ended up in Sofia in 1897. He learned to speak Bulgarian in one year. 

In April 1898, he opened a private school for - probably - six pupils. His work there was successful and for eight years he paid for everything from his own pocket.

In 1906, the government reconized Urbich's work and the school received tfhe name: "the institute for the deaf recognized by the government".

(...)

The method used by Urbich was the oral method, which he had brought with him from Germany. At the same time, he allowed deaf people to use gestures and mimics. He also took care of the training of new teachers for the deaf.

He commanded so much respect that the Deaf Sports Club and a day nursery used his name.

He left Bulgaria in 1918 and lived in Germany until 1945."

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013


 

Bulgarian Sign Language has its roots in Russian Sign Language, which was first introduced to the country approximately 10 years later. Sign language was allowed in the classroom by 1945.

In 2013 Deaflympics were held in Sofia, Bulgaria. This event brought many Deaf people from around the world to the country, and increased the awareness among many Bulgarians of Deaf culture and sign language.

  • At present there are three boarding schools in Bulgaria for the Deaf. These schools utilize “oral methods,” emphasizing speaking/voicing Bulgarian and understanding written Bulgarian while downplaying the use of Bulgarian Sign Language (if it is allowed at all in the schools).
  • The concepts of “Deaf culture,” “Deaf community,” etc., are fairly well established in North America and western Europe, but are relatively new concepts in Bulgaria, particularly among hearing Bulgarians. Bulgarian Sign Language is not officially recognized as a minority language by the Bulgarian government.
  • Because of the lack of recognition or protection by the government for the Deaf as a linguistic and cultural group, obtaining support services, such as adequately trained and certified interpreters, is a struggle for the Deaf of Bulgaria.
  • Source: https://joshuaproject.net/assets/media/profiles/text/t19007_bu.pdf, 2015

1898: Invention of the electrical hearing aid

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.

The first electric hearing aid, called the Akouphone, was created by Miller Reese Hutchison in 1898. It used a carbon transmitter, so that the hearing aid could be portable. The carbon transmitter was used to amplify sound by taking a weak signal and using electric current to make it a strong signal. 

While a student, Hutchison hoped to benefit a friend, Lyman Gould,  who was deaf and mute from a childhood bout with scarlet fever. He and Gould frequently travelled the Mobile Bay Steamboats and Hutch noticed that his friend could not hear even the very loud steamboat whistles.  To help his friend, he studied hearing at Alabama Medical College  and laboured for four years researching and developing a device.  His efforts led to the invention of the first portable electrical hearing aid, which he called the “Akouphone”.

Hutchison obtained a patent for this device in 1895 and succeeded in improving Gould’s hearing, but his friend never succeeded in mastering speech. 

Source: https://hearinghealthmatters.org/hearinginternational/2015/the-road-to-the-first-electric-portable-hearing-aid-and-beyond/

bodyworn hearing aid

Before the electric hearing aid, people used ear trumpets:

eartrumpet

An old fashioned body-worn hearing aid:

 

Source:

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)

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

Born in 1861 to German immigrants in Baltimore, Md., Veditz became deaf at age 8 due to scarlet fever. He was fluent in spoken English and German, among several other languages.

After he became deaf, he was privately tutored until he was 14, when he enrolled at the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) in Frederick. Although MSD at the time primarily trained its students in shoemaking, the school's principal hired Veditz as his private secretary and bookkeeper. Veditz wanted to enroll at Gallaudet in 1878 but could not afford to finance his education. (...)

In 1880, Veditz finally enrolled at Gallaudet, where he studied education. He graduated in 1884 as valedictorian of his class, and returned to MSD to teach for four years. He earned a master's degree from Gallaudet in 1887.

(..)

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. 

Veditz was driven by the injustices he saw that included job discrimination, repression of sign language, and the overall treatment of deaf people as second-class citizens.

(...)

During his lifetime, Veditz also founded what would become the Gallaudet University Alumni Association and was involved in a World Congress of the Deaf held in conjunction with the World's Fair.

He passed away in Colorado at age 75.

 

To see the film, go to: http://hsldb.georgetown.edu/films/film-view.php?film=slpreservation&signer=Veditz 

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1867 - 1959: Johannes Graadt van Roggen (NL)

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. He is considered a forerunner of the Bergen School. He is also called Job Graadt van Roggen and was the second son of Jacob Frans Graadt van Roggen and Catharina Petronella Margaretha Zembsch.

Graadt van Roggen was deaf from the age of three as a result of meningitis. Throughout his youth he was a student of the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb (as that institute was then called) in Groningen. He made his first paintings when he was seventeen.

Because of his deafness, Graadt van Roggen was a visually oriented painter par excellence, who painted what he saw. He was a real plein air painter; he liked to paint outdoors. He rarely, if ever, painted indoors – there are a few still lifes and portraits. He always worked figuratively. Graadt van Roggen usually sought his subjects near his hometown of Bergen. He has created many dune landscapes (from Bergen aan Zee to Camperduin and Petten); He also regularly painted the Zeeland coast.

Other subjects are: harbours, portraits and cityscapes.

Graadt van Roggen has often been abroad. He preferred to paint around the Mediterranean.

Zeeduin, ca. 1910

Boerderij Aan De Schelpenweg Te Domburg, 1993

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1872 - 1947: Jan Zoetelief Tromp (NL)

1872 - 1947: Jan Zoetelief Tromp (NL)

1872 - 1947: Jan Zoetelief Tromp (NL)

Johannes Tromp was born on December 13, 1872 in Jakarta (then Batavia). He came from an old Frisian family of mainly lawyers and civil servants. Jan was the eldest son of seven children; five boys and two girls.

Little John was a difficult and disobedient toddler, who would never listen. Until his maternal grandmother (“Grootje Zoet”, as she was called) accidentally discovered in a toy store that he was deaf. She rang a bell and beat a drum, but he didn't listen. She understood that Jan was deaf, and therefore deaf-mute.

'Grootje Zoet', who had been a widow for several years, has from that moment on devoted the rest of her life to her eldest grandson. When Jan was three years old, she sold her house and all her furniture and traveled with him to Europe. His parents and the other children stayed in the Indies.

After arriving in Holland, Grootje Zoet traveled with Jan to numerous specialists in Europe. But without result. Before he was even five years old, Jan attended the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Rotterdam; at that time the only institute in this field. Of course, learning to lip-read and learning to speak were the most important subjects.

With the preparatory summer course in 1887, when Jan was 13 years old, he started his education at the Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Sciences in The Hague and followed various courses there. In 1893 he passed the entrance exam for the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. He received special attention there from August Allebé, the then director of the Academy, who opposed the lyrical character of the Hague School with a more realistic naturalism.

After completing his studies, Jan settled in The Hague. There he was included in the circle of well-known painters, who showed an interest in the young, gifted and cheerful painter.

Jan Zoetelief Tromp died on September 28, 1947, aged almost 75, in Breteuil-sur-Iton."

Marie Zoetelief Tromp – Blommers, 1947

On the beach

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1900 - 1966: Richard Liebermann, Painter (DE)

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 attended the Koeniglichen Zentral-Taubstummen-Institut in Munich 1907-1916. Attended the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst in Munich 1921-1930, when he also converted to Catholicism.

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.

He continued to do private commissions, then taught art at a local Jewish residential school near Ulm 1936-1939, though this was interrupted for a time when he was arrested for being Jewish during Kristallnacht in 1938. Released after a month, he was again arrested in 1940 by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Swiss relatives helped get him transferred to a hospital camp, then in 1943 the Swiss relatives bought his freedom, though he had to go into hiding in France.

Liebermann stayed in France even after the war ended, dying in St..Just-St. Rambert. He is noted for the drawings and paintings he did during his two camp stays, as well as his postwar experiments with collage, although he never exhibited his work again."

From: https://liblists.wrlc.org/biographies/52602

Also see: http://www.mogehis.de/Richard%20Liebermann.htm (In Ger,man)

Richard Liebermann Nathan Milstein 1931small

Portrait of Nathan Milstein by Richard Liebermann 1931

1900 - 1972: Emerson Romero

1900 - 1972: Emerson Romero

1900 - 1972: Emerson Romero

Emerson Romero (August 19, 1900 – October 16, 1972) 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.

From 1926 to 1928 Romero appeared in more than 24 two-reel short comedies, including BeachnutsThe Cat's MeowGreat GunsHen-Pecked in MoroccoSappy Days, and a remake of Tillie's Punctured Romance. At the request of his film distributors, who wanted him to have a "more American-like" name, he changed his name to Tommy Albert.

Romero did all his own makeup and stunt work and worked with actors such as W. C. Fields.

When sound films ("talkies") were introduced in 1927, deaf people were no longer considered potential actors; studios no longer included intertitles and deaf people were shut out of enjoying movies.

Romero became active in the deaf community in New York City and along with friends John Funk and Sam Block started the Theatre Guild of the Deaf in 1934. The theatre company lasted for twenty years; Romero acted and directed in multiple plays throughout the years. 

Always looking for ways to help the deaf community, Romero bought several films and experimented with providing captions. In 1947, Romero developed the first captioning for a movie, slicing film strips and inserting images with captions between picture frames. The effect was similar to the title cards of silent movies, interspersing action scenes with images of text. He rented the films to deaf schools and clubs.

The films were of bad visual quality, in an attempt to prevent bootlegging; in addition, Romero's technique ruined the soundtrack of the film for anyone who was able to hear. However, his efforts were noticed by others, including Edmund Burke Boatner, the superintendent of the American School for the Deaf, who would create more practical methods of captioning and would co-found the U.S. government-funded Captioned Films for the Deaf program.

Romero would go on to create and sell the Vibralarm in 1959, a vibrating alarm clock for deaf and hard of hearing people; he sold an entire product line of items for the deaf such as doorbells, smoke detectors and baby alarms. 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerson_Romero

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1900: Ultraviolet Therapy

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.

For deafness, it was believed to be beneficial in destroying bacterial growth, enhancing blood flow to the ear, and reducing any abnormal growths in the auditory canal.

Violet ray devices included an electrode that shone a bright glow when energized; the ray was believed to cure anything.

1905: Kuurojen Liittoo ry, Finnish Association of the Deaf

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.

The Aszociation of the Deaf is the national federation of 39 member associations, employing just under 70 people.

Representatives of the member associations meet annually for a regular general meeting. The General Assembly exercises the highest decision-making power of the organization. The board elected by it is responsible for the practical operation of the Association of the Deaf together with the management team.

Vision

Sign language lives strong in a pluralistic, multilingual and multicultural society. The Association of the Deaf is the leading interest and service organization in its field, both nationally and internationally.

Mission

The mission of the Association of the Deaf is to guarantee the realization of human rights and equal opportunities for the deaf.

Photo White House Helsinki

White House, Helsinki

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1907: The Nordic Council of the Deaf

1907: The Nordic Council of the Deaf

1907: The Nordic Council of the Deaf

The Nordic Council for the Deaf was founded in 1907. 

It 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.

A main issue for the council is to work for the equality and participation of Nordic deaf people in society. Participation and equality are only realized when sign language has a strong position in society, it is said. The various national sign languages, which have been used for hundreds of years in the region, are an irreplaceable part of Nordic linguistic diversity.

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1911: Founding of the RNID (UK)

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.

RNID campaigns for an inclusive society, connect people to practical advice, and pioneer new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.

"n the early 1900s, Leo Bonn, a successful banker with hearing loss, decided to use his wealth to improve the lives of those who were deaf, or had hearing loss.

There were many societies, schools and missions devoted to the education and welfare of deaf people but they didn’t work together. Leo saw the need for a new, national organisation to coordinate activities so more people could be helped.

His aims were ambitious:

  • to support and care for people with hearing loss
  • to educate those at risk of damaging their hearing
  • and to raise awareness of how isolating hearing loss can be. 

In 2011, RNID changed its name to Action on Hearing Loss.In 2020, they went back to the old name, RNID.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5xYVH45dDQ

Action on Hearing Loss becomes RNID again - BSL

 

 

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1913: Österreichische Gehörlosenbund (ÖGLB) (AT)

1913: Österreichische Gehörlosenbund (ÖGLB) (AT)

1913: Österreichische Gehörlosenbund (ÖGLB) (AT)

(translated from German by Google Translate)

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

The association wants to strengthen the self-confidence of the deaf and their reputation. It advocates the recognition of sign language as a non-ethnic minority language and its acceptance.

In addition, it strives for equal partnerships between deaf and hearing people and the mediation of an equivalent school offer in Austrian sign language. It also advises on deaf-specific issues in the ministry committee and public institutions.

The primary goal is a legal safeguarding of the cultural and linguistic heritage of the deaf, the recognition of the Austrian Sign Language (ÖGS) and their language rights. The educational standard of the deaf should be increased, citizenship rights should be exercised and participation in society should take place.""

from: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Österreichischer_Gehörlosenbund 

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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

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.

This changed for the first time in 1969, when two deaf people were elected to the board of the Association for the Aid for the Deaf and Dumb: Felix Urech and Margrit Tanner. The stroke of liberation for the deaf from paternalism finally comes from America. The “Deaf Power” movement emerged there at the end of the 1970s and reached Switzerland in the 1980s. The spirit of optimism is shaped by the battle cry: "Deaf people can do everything except hear!"

During this time, the Swiss Association of the Deaf became politically more active: It implemented subtitling on Swiss television and set up the teletext service “Reading instead of hearing”. Deaf people in Switzerland are liberating sign language from its shadowy existence and setting up a sign commission.

At the same time, there is a loud demand for (spoken language accompanying) signs in lessons at schools for the deaf. The interpreting system is set up and in 1993 the Swiss Association of the Deaf called for social recognition of sign language in a petition. In 1997 Federal Councilor Ruth Dreifuss will approve this petition.

In 1987 the Swiss Association of the Deaf was regionalized, the German-speaking section SGB-DS and the French-speaking section FSS-RR were established.

In 1999 the “Deaf 2000” project in German-speaking Switzerland, which wanted to unite organizations for the hearing impaired, failed. The SGB-DS then leaves the Swiss Association for the Deaf and, together with the FSS-RR, founds an independent umbrella organization for self-help. A year later, the Ticino section FSS-RI was added. These three regional associations will be merged in 2006 to form the national umbrella organization of the Swiss Deaf Association SGB-FSS. The association structures will be reorganized in stages by 2015 and adapted to the national character.

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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

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

In the second half of the nineteenth century, a social movement of the deaf began in Poland. 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.

The Polish Association of the Deaf, established on August 25, 1946 at the Congress of Delegates of Deaf Associations in Łódź, continues the ideas and tasks implemented by regional deaf associations and the Polish Association of Deaf Societies that existed in Poland before World War II. The aim of the Polish Association of the Deaf is to associate deaf people and other people with hearing impairments to provide them with help in all life matters, to maintain the identity of the deaf community

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

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

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

Our knowledge of deaf people in the Great War is limited to newspapers, deaf periodicals, military records and photographs. Film cameras were not widely used, so there is no recorded history, signed or spoken, from deaf people themselves.

Deaf filmmaker Julian Peedle-Calloo re-imagines the unique situations deaf people faced in the era 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.

"Many people are under the impression that deaf men were fortunate to not serve in World War One due to their deafness and so had a lucky escape," Peedle-Calloo says. "I wanted to show that they were far from lucky.

"Deaf men wanted to be able to serve their King and country and do their duty as part of the war effort and they were denied this opportunity. They were rejected by the army and rejected from their communities for their perceived cowardice - a double punishment," he says.

battle lines

Click on the picture to see Battle Lines (BSL and  English subtitles)

Battle Lines is about a Deaf man (UK) who looks for acceptance in his local community when he is prevented from serving in World War I. Can he find a way to win people over, or will he continue to feel like an outcast? Watch it and find out. 

Starring Sean Noone, Ace Mahbaz, Jacob Casselden and Sophie Allen, this film was written and directed by Julian Peedle-Calloo and produced by 104 Films.

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1915: Opening of the Finnish Museum of the Deaf

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 starting point of the museum has been estimated on the basis of the donations given to the museum in 1907 by Fritz and Maria Hirn. The Hirns were former pupils of Carl Oscar Malm, the founder of deaf education in Finland. They donated to the museum photographs and materials dating back to their school days. The museum collections increased gradually. The first exhibition, Carl Oscar Malm’s museum room, was opened to the public in Helsinki for the first time on the 12th of February 1915.

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

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

Deaf people in Norway have been organized in a national association since 1918. Before that, there were deaf associations in several cities.

The first deaf association in Norway was founded in Oslo in 1878. Many battles have been fought with the authorities since then. It has often taken a long time before changes have taken place.

When the Norwegian Association of the Deaf was founded in 1918, it happened at the school for the deaf in Trondheim. Deaf teacher Johannes Berge became the leader. In other words, there were close connections between the organization and the schools for the deaf in the beginning.

In the early days, deaf teachers and deaf priests were the leaders of the deaf associations. Eventually, the deaf themselves took over more and more of the positions in the organization.

In 1933, the association got its first deaf chairman in Helmer Moe. Some of the important issues in the Deaf Association's history have been the struggle for the deaf to have the best possible schooling, access to deaf interpreters and access to technical aids. Some issues have been so important to the Deaf Association that they have chosen to gather for demonstrations and strikes.

Sign language, its place in schools for the deaf and in society, has been a constant issue for the Deaf Association since its inception. When the Deaf Association held its first national meeting in the summer of 1920 in Bergen, the place of sign language in the school for the deaf was up for debate. The association believed that there had to be a change in the deaf schools' dismissive attitude to sign language. There was debate. Many deaf people believed that it would be an advantage if instruction in sign language was provided, and that the teachers at the school for the deaf learned to understand and use the children's sign language. The deaf teachers did not agree, and it was their views that went through. It was said that it was okay for the deaf associations to start working for the members to learn to use a common sign language for the whole country, but the deaf teachers believed that sign language should not be used as a language of instruction in deaf schools."

From: https://norsk-dovemuseum.no/organisasjoner 

Translated into English by Google Translate

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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

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

Article 2 of the Statute defines the Romanian National Association of the Deaf as “a nongovernmental organization, independent, non-profit, politically and religiously unconditional, with legal personality, of public utility, which protects and promotes the social, professional, cultural and educational rights and interests to the hearing impaired (deaf, deaf-mute) for social inclusion and equalization of chances. It receives support in keeping up specific activities from central and local authorities, as well as from individuals and legal entities”.

Through the specific activity carried out, the Romanian National Association of the Deaf is an organization representing the interests of the hearing impaired throughout the country, being the continuator of the “Friendly Society of the Deaf-Mute in Romania”, according to the Statute authenticated by the Ilfov Court, the notary section, under number 328 of January 5, 1920 and of the “Association of the Deaf-Mute of the Romanian People’s Republic”, recognized by the HCM number 1153 of July 20, 1952 and of the Civil Sentence number 1909 of August 15, 1953 of the People’s Court of the Tudor Vladimirescu District, Bucharest, thus adding a tradition of almost a century of activity put at the service of the people of Romania.

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. The first President was Alexandru Clarnet and Prince Henry Ghica, the deaf son of Constantin Ghica, was also part of the steering committee.

(..)

On July 19, 1953, the first Congress of deaf-mute in Romania was held, in Bucharest, and in 1955 we participated for the first time in a Congress of the World Deaf Federation, in Zagreb. Also during this period, 16 branches and the National Council were established, a crucial moment in the specialization on social, cultural and sporting issues of the Association’s staff. With the establishment of the subsidiaries, the collaboration with the special schools was intensified, organizing various cultural-educational and sporting activities that had as main purpose the intellectual development of the children. 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.

Despite the fact that the Association has encountered many difficulties over time, its progress is extremely visible, as ANSR is currently a “large family”, consisting of 37 branches with legal personality and 13 subdivisions, which, through the effort they have made over time, they have succeeded in facilitating the equalization of the chances, the improvement of the quality of life, with the aim of social-professional integration of the people with hearing impairment.

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1922: Eesti Kurtide Liit Estonian Association of the Deaf

1922: Eesti Kurtide Liit  Estonian Association of the Deaf

1922: Eesti Kurtide Liit Estonian Association of the Deaf

"We, the deaf , have long felt a burning longing for our society, as similar deaf people have had in other countries for a long time. But difficult times and living conditions have made us wait for better times. Now we have the opportunity. We, the three founders, gave deafness on March 21, 1922 The statutes of the Estonian Society of the Deaf for registration with the Tallinn-Haapsalu Peace Council, which we received on May 22. With this, the Estonian Society of the Deaf has legally entered into force. Our direct task now is to come together and discuss together all the issues we have in our hearts ”(Free Earth 1922). The founders of the society were Karl Luht and Rein Tomson from Tallinn and Eduard Kalm from Võhma. Andrei Yegorov was excluded from the founders.

The Estonian Society of the Deaf was founded in Tallinn when the articles of association had been prepared, reviewed and a founding permit had been obtained. The amount needed to establish the company (DEM 14,150) was paid by 82 people. Among them were deaf people from other regions of the country.

On June 18, 1922, the first official meeting of the society took place in Tallinn, in the premises of the city's 1st primary school, Kooli Street 2, which was attended by 64 people. The meeting was opened by Karl Luht and Rein Tomson.

According to the statutes, the aim of the society was "to raise the level of education and morals of the deaf in Estonia and to provide assistance to all the unfortunate in their difficult material condition". In order to achieve this goal, the agency could ,, set up its own home, workshops, outlets for its work, aid, sickness and burial funds, open libraries and reading rooms, organize meetings and speech evenings, sports exercises, organize parties, sales, to undertake collections and open departments within the borders of the Republic of Estonia as necessary ”.

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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

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. These were Ossian Edmund Borg (1812-1892), a member and son of the founder of Sweden's first school for the deaf, Per Aron Borg (1776-1839) - Albert Berg, deaf (1832-1916) - Fritiof Carlbom, deaf (1835-1890).

The Association for the Deaf and Dumb included deaf members from many different places throughout Sweden. Therefore, the Association for the Deaf and Dumb was considered a national organization in Sweden. The Deaf and Dumb Association functioned as well as a national association as a sickness and funeral fund for the deaf in the country.

But at the end of the 1890s, members of the countryside began to protest against the Stockholm dominance in the association and against the members who lived in Stockholm receiving a larger exchange of the membership fee because they could meet more often. (..)

In 1919, the Gothenburg Deaf Association took the initiative for a new discussion about the formation of a "national association". Eventually, it came to the conclusion that the Swedish Association of the Deaf and Dumb was formed on February 26, 1922 by 14 representatives from the deaf associations.

Dan Andersson (1885-1963), deaf and from Gothenburg was elected chairman. he Swedish Association of the Deaf and Dumb functioned as a central organization of deaf associations.

The purpose of the association was to promote the interests of the deaf, to provide advice and information to affiliated associations and individual deaf people regarding their affairs, applications to authorities, to support the establishment of retirement homes for the deaf, to spread knowledge about deaf conditions, to assist in the formation of local deaf associations. to safeguard the interests of the deaf with authorities in relevant investigations and proposals and to promote higher education for the deaf.

In 1950, the name of the Swedish Association of the Deaf and Dumb was changed to the Swedish National Association of the Deaf. SDR was one of the founders of the Nordic Council of the Deaf, which was formed in 1907.

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1924: First World Games for the Deaf

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. Unlike the athletes in other IOC-sanctioned events (the Olympics, the Paralympics, and the Special Olympics), the Deaflympians cannot be guided by sounds (e.g., the starter's guns, bullhorn commands or referee whistles).

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. 

The games began as a small gathering of 148 athletes from nine European nations competing in the International Silent Games in Paris, France, in 1924; now, they have grown into a global movement.

Officially, the games were originally called the "International Games for the Deaf" from 1924 to 1965, but were sometimes also referred to as the "International Silent Games". From 1966 to 1999 they were called the "World Games for the Deaf", and occasionally referred to as the "World Silent Games". From 2001, the games have been known by their current name Deaflympics (often mistakenly called the Deaf Olympics).

To qualify for the games, athletes must have a hearing loss of at least 55 db in their "better ear". Hearing aids, cochlear implants and the like are not allowed to be used in competition, to place all athletes on the same level. 

Other examples of ways the games vary from hearing competitions are the manner in which they are officiated. To address the issue of Deaflympians not being able to be guided by sounds, certain sports use alternative methods of commencing the game. For example, the football referees wave a flag instead of blowing a whistle; on the track, races are started by using a light, instead of a starter pistol. It is also customary for spectators not to cheer or clap, but rather to wave – usually with both hands.

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

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

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

Born in Harford, Connecticut March 16, 1927, he was deafened at the age 5 by measles and scarlet fever. He graduated from the American School for the Deaf in 1943, and from Gallaudet College in 1949 with an undergraduate degree, a Master’s  Degree in Education in 1957 and an earned Doctor of Education Degree in Information Technology in 1976 at the University of Harford. 

Dr. Norwood, known as “Mac” to friends, stands out in the deaf and hard of hearing community as “the father of closed captioning.”

As television developed in the 1950s and 1960s the deaf were virtually left out.  As the head of DCMP (the Described and Captioned Media Program), 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.  First with special caption decoders, and later integrated into the television circuitry. 

Norwood’s pioneering contribution in making television and film accessible to people with disabilities became a beacon for other individuals and companies to follow.  

Source: https://hearinghealthmatters.org/hearinginternational/2016/tv-captioning-where-did-it-come-from/ 

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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

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

"The German Deaf Association V. (DGB) represents the interests of the group of German deaf people and other hearing impaired people estimated at 80,000 to 100,000 people, of which around 30,000 are registered members.

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.

The association is based in Berlin.

The association defines “deafness” from the point of view of those affected not only in terms of hearing status, but also in terms of identification with the sign language community and the culture of the deaf. The association is also specifically committed to the interests of families with deaf or severely hearing impaired children for whom a definitive assignment to the linguistically and culturally differently oriented groups of hearing impaired people is not yet possible.

It sees itself as a socio-political, cultural and professional advocacy group for the deaf in Germany and as a forum for the sign language community.  

from: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Gehörlosen-Bund

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

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.

First he attended the Döblingerschule (elite school for the deaf) in Vienna, from 1943 to 1945 he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna with Robert Obsieger.

From 1945 to 1949 he was a ceramist in the Angermayr ceramic workshop in Eberschwang. Before he started working as a freelancer in Linz, he attended the Linz Art School from 1949 to 1957. 

Peter Hans Dimmel was born deaf and has been committed to deaf people since 1962. Among other things, he organized the World Congress of the Deaf in Vienna in 1995 and has been active in many functions of the deaf interest group throughout Upper Austria and Austria for decades.

(..)
In this context, one of his merits is the anchoring of Austrian sign language in the Upper Austrian state constitution (2001) and in the Austrian federal constitution (2005) as a separate language. He is the founder of the Linz specialist training course for sign language interpreters and set up an interpreting center. 

His life's work includes more than 170 works, including many sculptures and restoration work for churches, especially with the material bronze. The sacred works, especially popular altars, baptismal fonts, tabernacles and Stations of the Cross were created shortly after the Second Vatican Council. Its bronze gates with figural decorations are unique (including the gate at the Linz Bishop's Court). "

From: https://www.wikiwand.com/de/Peter_Dimmel, English translation by Google Translate. 

Also see: https://austria-forum.org/af/Biographien/Dimmel%2C_Peter, in German

 

Peter Dimmel2https://www.meinbezirk.at/ried/c-ungelistet/peter-dimmel-sculptor_pic5686425_a500226#gallery=default&pid=5686425

Peter Dimmel3

Severinstor in the Basilica of St. Laurentius in Enns

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

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. In 1931 a local group for the deaf and hard of hearing was founded in the Berlin NSDAP.  A deaf SA storm followed in Berlin. Shortly after the seizure of power, the deaf NS-Ortsgruppenleiter ousted the previous chairman of the “Reich Association of the Deaf Germany” (Regede) from his position.

In the course of the “Gleichschaltung”, many deaf associations in Germany were forcibly dissolved and converted into local groups of the Regede. Politically dissenters lost their offices.

Around 1,000 deaf Jews in Germany, including around 600 in Berlin, were expelled from their deaf associations, later mostly deported and murdered.

Due to the Hereditary Health Act, the Nazi regime ordered the compulsory sterilization of around 15,000 deaf people between 1934 and 1945.

Around 1,500 deaf “mentally disabled” and “mentally ill” people were among the victims of the “euthanasia” mass murder during the Second World War."

DGS with German subtitles.

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

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.

DotMiles

Drama documentary (BSL and English subtitles).  Dot is about the life of Dorothy “Dot” Miles, who died in 1993.  It tells how she was born hearing but later became deaf through meningitis, and was very passionate about sign languages, poetry, English, theatre and music. 

Dot was also bipolar and struggled with her mental health, as explained by two of her Deaf friends and her hearing niece, who also talk about her final few hours and death.  This is the first time that any of her family members have talked about this openly and publicly. 

Featuring dramatised scenes with Sophie Stone, Jean St Clair and newcomer Jovita Bodamer-Macgregor playing Dot in different stages of her life.  Produced by Cathy Heffernan and directed by Bim Ajadi; a Blue Marlin Television production for BSLBT.

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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

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.

It started its activity in the conditions of severe economic crisis, unemployment and famine hearing people and defending their cultural and material interests. But this main goal of theirs failed to be realized in the first years after the establishment of the company, due to the difficult situation in the country. Bringing together more than 200 members from all over the country, the society leads an organizationally weak life and carries out partial philanthropic activities, succeeding thanks to the enthusiasm of its founders.

 After 1944, the Union of the Deaf in Bulgaria, the successor of the Society of the Deaf and Dumb, began to develop large-scale organizational, production-economic, social-household, cultural-educational, sports and tourist activities.

Nowadays, 4,908 members are members of the SGB, organized in 12 regional organizations.

 The strategy of the SGB leadership is dictated by the real living conditions in the country, constantly doing everything possible to prove to the public that people with hearing impairments can be very useful. The Union leadership will continue to actively insist on respect for their rights guaranteed by the standard UN rules on equality of persons with disabilities; for full access to information and modern technical means; for fair social legislation and last but not least - for the legalization of the Bulgarian sign language.

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1935: Danske Døves Landsforbund (DDL) Danish Deaf Association

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.

information about the history of the DDL: still missing.

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1936: Doof Vlaanderen (BE)

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.

That is why Doof Vlaanderen stands up for the individuality, rights and well-being of deaf people in all aspects of daily life. Doof Vlaanderen vzw also supports the membership of various local associations for the deaf in Flanders.

History:

At the initiative of some Flemish sign-language people, in 1936 an umbrella association was founded under the name Nationaal Verbond der Katholieke Deaf-mute-bonds, abbreviated as Navekados. This was established so that the Flemish and Walloon deaf can organize themselves nationally with a view to improving their social position.

As a result of communautaire struggles that stood in the way of an adequate subsidization of both subdivisions of Navekados, the Flemish and Walloon divisions split from each other in 1977.

On January 29, 1977, the Flemish umbrella organization of deaf associations Fenedo (Federation of the Dutch-speaking Deaf Associations) was founded. The Walloon counterpart is called FFSB (Féderation Francophone des Sourds de Belgique).

In 1986, the name of Fenedo was changed into Fevlado: Federatie van de Vlaamse Dovenorganisaties, 

In 2017, Fevlado became Doof Vlaanderen (Deaf Flanders).

 

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

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

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

Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power in Germany in 1933. Immediately there after laws were established to restrict the rights and lives of “undesirable people.” This included disabled people, gays and lesbians, Jehovah Witnesses, communists, Romi (gypsies) and of course Jewish people.

Despite the Nazi’s goal to create an Aryan race, some Deaf German’s seeing themselves as a class of people rather than a disability, formed an SA group, participated in marches and spread Nazi propaganda. While the group quickly grew in size and rapidly began to ostracize their fellow Deaf Jews, their organization was shortlived. Once Goering learned of their existence he ordered them to be disbanded as the image of a DEAF group of Nazis (known as REGEDE) was discongruent with Hitler’s eugenics efforts.

As a result of the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring, 350,000 to 400,000 disabled Germans are estimated to have been sterilized, 17,000 of whom were Deaf. The numbers of disabled people who were “put to sleep” in the secretive T4 program is estimated at 70,000 people.

Up until 1941 the Nazi movement employed techniques used in their Eugenics program against the handicapped and “useless eaters” (forcible sterilization, abortion, starvation, lethal injection, gas chambers, etc) but when an outcry came from German religious organizations, they shifted their focus to Jewish people and other groups, which would not create large dissension and criticism from the majority population. The final solution had begun.


wwwII 1

Click on the picture to see the video (BSL and English subtitles) ^


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. This programme was directed by Angela Spielsinger, and produced by Camilla Arnold for Remark Media.

This is Episode 1 of 2.


WW 2

Click on the picture to see the video (BSL and English subtitles

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 about their memories as the war progressed, and then came to an end. This programme was directed by Angela Spielsinger, and produced by Camilla Arnold for Remark Media.

This is Episode 2 of 2


holocaustClick on the picture to see the video (BSL and English subtitles)

“The Deaf Holocaust”

Clive Mason narrated a 43 minute special edition of See Hear on BBC called “The Deaf Holocaust” Deaf People and Nazi Germany.

This documentary covers the treatment of deaf people in Nazi Germany during World War Two. 17,000 deaf people were forcibly sterilised by the Nazis to stop them from having children and many others were killed simply

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

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.

But that's not all the DGT is supposed to do. The theater also carries literature, we offer everything from antique dramas, Comedia Dell 'Arte to modern theater art.

It is very important to us to include the deaf actors in the conceptual decisions of all directors and so everyone can contribute their strengths and skills and thus contribute to the overall success of the project.

Theater art conveys new perspectives, different modes of action, empowerment, attitudes to life, self-esteem and above all education, especially in times of inclusion society.

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

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. The mission of the WFD is to promote the Human Rights of Deaf people and full, quality and equal access to all spheres of life, including self-determination, sign language, education, employment and community life. 

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1953: First School for the Deaf in Cyprus, Nicosia

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".

In 1945, Semeli Tsatsou, head of the school for the deaf in Alexandria (Egypt), visited Cyprus as a tourist. During her time there, she spoke with someone from the Ministry of Education. She suggested that Cyprus should have a school for the Deaf. 

The Ministry of Education passed on her suggestion to the Rotary Club of Nicosia. Within a year, the members collected the money needed for a scholarshop, and in 1949 the ssent George Markou to England to learn about the education of the deaf. 

(..)

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.

In 1979, George Markou became the director of the school. 

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."

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013


"The School for Deaf Children that was opened under the rule of the British Administration in Cyprus, was opened in the 1953–1954 academic year and became the second private education institution on the island. Additionally, it was a mixed school that served both the Greek and Turkish communities.

Although the school was initially opened with contributions from the Rotary Club, it continued to provide educational services with funds from the British Administration, students’ parents and voluntary contributions.

During the period of mixed education, the school could not adopt a fully settled structure in terms of the building in which it was located and was moved to different areas during that period.

In the period when the British government transferred responsibility for the education on the island to the Greek and Turkish communities, the school continued to provide services on a mixed basis.

However, after the events of 1963, the Turkish teachers and students began to leave the school. Today, it continues its activities in southern Nicosia, whereas in the northern part of the island, the Lapta School for People with Hearing and Speaking Disabilities was opened in 1975 in order for Turkish students to continue their education."

from: Ozsezer, M., Tufan, H. & Ozkul, A.E. Historical development of the school for deaf children which was opened in Cyprus under the British Administration. Qual Quant 52, 1421–1435 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-018-0738-1

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

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.
International Week of the Deaf is celebrated through various activities by the respective Deaf Communities worldwide.

The activities call for participation and involvements of various stakeholders including families, peers, Governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters and Organisations of persons with disabilities. 

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

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. He was one of seven children and the only one who was Deaf.

His parents were interested in his creative activity and sent him to a special school for Deaf children that had an art programme. During his school years he learned drawing and pantomime and, as he said, was proud that he was able to do something with his own hands and to express his thoughts in this way. His parents entered his work in school exhibitions, and he won many prizes and awards during this period. As a youngster he did not know what profession interested him. If somebody asked, he answered, “I want to fly.”

In 1979 he entered the art department of the Pavlovsk Polytechnic School, Leningrad Rehabilitation Centre, which was the best college for Deaf students in the Russian Federation at that time. It was in this school that he gained a basic understanding of art and graphics. At the same time, his interest in theatre grew. He also liked to read poetry and began experimenting with visual sign poetry. His diploma work involved designing theatre posters. Later, he prepared some posters for the famous mime-ctown group Licedei, which was headed by Vyacheslav Polunin.

In 1984 he enrolled in Shiukin Artists College in Moscow, where there was a group of Deaf artists. To earn his diploma, he performed the leading role in George Danden, a play by Moli6re. His earlier training in art and graphics led to his designing some stage sets. He continued his education in the art department of the State Specialized Arts Institute in Moscow, from which he graduated in 1999.

Over the last five years Mr Martianov has taken part in many exhibitions of Deaf painters in the Russian Federation and other countries. For example, he participated in an exhibition of Deaf Russian painters in Tampere, Finland, where a Deaf club bought his picture Dream. He said, “I am glad that my work gives pleasure to my Deaf friends in Finland.”

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.”

from: https://deaf-art.org/profiles/alexander-martianov/

image 2021 02 15 151713

martianov2

Piero

both images from: https://deaf-art.org/profiles/alexander-martianov/

1960: Felag heyrnarlausra Icelandic Association of the Deaf

1960: Felag heyrnarlausra  Icelandic Association of the Deaf

1960: Felag heyrnarlausra Icelandic Association of the Deaf

Deaf people have always come together to have each other's company, to consult one another and to share their opinions on any subjects. Prior to the establishment of the Icelandic Association of the Deaf, they often met at each other's homes and these homes then formed a kind of community. Þingholtsstræti 8 was the main meeting place for the deaf over the years, and often people gathered in numbers of around 20 to 30 people.

On August 31st 1952, the Association of the Deaf was first founded in Iceland. Haraldur Árnasson, Martin Friðjónsson from Hafnarfjörður and Guðmundur Björnsson from Reykjavik were the founders. However, the association did not succeed very long, and only after six months, it was abolished. 

In 1959, the association was again founded. Guðmundur Björnsson, Hervör Guðjónsdóttir, Mark Loftsson, and Jón Leifur Ólafsson had initiated the establishment of the association, while also Brandur Jónsson, the principal for the school of the deaf, joined the board. After several months of preparation, the founding of the association was proclaimed at the school of the deaf at Stakkholt on February 11th, 1960. A total of 33 people attended the meeting and joined the association.

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1960: William Stokoe, "Sign Language Structure"

1960: William Stokoe,

1960: William Stokoe, "Sign Language Structure"

William Stokoe (United States, 1919 - 2000) presented his findings about sign language in a ground-breaking paper Sign Language Structure in 1960 that it is a natural, true language. However, it did not attract much attention until 1965.

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. 

It had a profound impact on deaf culture, deaf education, and sign language teaching and interpreting.

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

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. 

In 1963, the school taught deaf and blind children (about 100 pupils) to communicate by means of the hand alphabet. 

In 1963 the Albanian government sent several teachers to Rusia to gain experience teaching deaf children. Currently the state is the sole financer of this school and pays for food, clothing and teaching materials. "

from: Deaf Education in Europe - The Early Years: by Henk Betten, 2013

1964 - ...: Videotelephony for deaf people

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.

Using such video equipment, the deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired can communicate between themselves and with hearing individuals using sign language. 

Today the principles, if not the precise mechanisms of a videophone are employed by many users worldwide in the form of webcam videocalls using personal computers, with inexpensive webcams, microphones and free videocalling web client programs. Thus an activity that was disappointing as a separate service has found a niche as a minor feature in software products intended for other purposes.

Source: http://atwiki.assistivetech.net/index.php/Videophone

videocall

 

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1964: Invention of the Text Telephone (TTY)

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.

Weitbrecht developed an interest in Morse code, as it allowed him to communicate with hearing people via radio. In 1950, he obtained a radio teletypewriter that was only capable of receiving messages. It could not be used with a regular telephone. Weitbrecht was able to modify this radio teletypewriter so that it could send messages, too.

Deaf people who knew about Weitbrecht's work asked him to fix the radio teletypewriter so it could be used on a regular phone line. After years of work, Weitbrecht finally succeeded in 1964. He developed an acoustic coupler that allowed the use of the telephone with the TTY. In May of that year, Weitbrecht made the first long-distance call with a TTY between two deaf people on a regular phone line. Further refinement of the technology resulted in the Weitbrecht Modem.

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.

Source: https://www.verywellhealth.com/robert-weitbrecht-inventor-of-the-tty-1049384

 

Picture Source: https://hearinghealthmatters.org/hearinginternational/2016/tty/

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

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

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

“In spite of the problems and criticisms, I just had to go on. A cochlear implant was their only hope of ever hearing.”

That was Professor Graeme Clark’s way of thinking - never give up on finding a way to help the profoundly deaf hear.

It was his deaf father's struggles that ignited this determination. Professor Clark grew up seeing the hardship of living in silence - including the frustration, anguish and resulting isolation. He also witnessed his father’s desire for a greater connection to others, and was determined to make it possible.

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.

Though creating an implant seemed like an impossibly tall order, Professor Clark dedicated years to its research and development. His colleagues said a cochlear implant wouldn’t work because the inner ear was just too complicated. Others said that there were unknown risks. There was also the lack of funding and the technological challenge of fitting electrodes into the tiny inner ear.

But the chance to give those living in deafness the gift of sound urged him on. For over a decade he continued his quest with a small team. Finally, his research was put to a test. 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. 

graeme clark

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

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’

Through painting and installations, she creates visual representations of language and emotional expression through her use of colour and form. Rubbena has exhibited widely nationally and internationally and has featured several times on national TV.

Recent commissions have included work for the ITV ‘Create’ series broadcast in 2019, and being Lead Artist for ‘Translating the Deaf Self’, a joint academic and artistic project exploring deaf peoples’ lived experience of being represented through translation. "

from: https://www.rubbena.com/about

To read a story on Rubbena's life written by her mother and her primary school teacher, click here.

image 2021 02 15 122603

Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq discusses her work in the arts and supporting Deaf women from ethnic minorities.

image 2021 02 15 115953

BSL Zone:  Tessa Padden interviews Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq about her remarkable life, including working to support Deaf women from ethnic minorities. She also  explains what led her to be a successful artist, her education (including having four degrees) and about her work as an art psychotherapist. 

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

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)

1977: Fédération Francophone des Sourds de Belgique (FFSB)

translated from French by Google Translate:

Since 1977, the French-speaking Federation of the Deaf of Belgium (FFAB) has federated a network of associations active in the field of deafness.

We are the spokesperson for these associations and for our deaf and hard of hearing members. Through our awareness-raising actions with political authorities and the public, we promote them and defend their rights to information and to socio-professional integration. We bring their requests to the national and international political scene by networking with our partners.

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

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.

First located at the Château de Vincennes, IVT has installed its theater since 2004 in the premises of the former Grand-Guignol in Paris. This socio-cultural center for the Deaf is for the deaf and for all persons or associations concerned with the world of deafness. It develops a broad cultural action through the creation and the theatrical production and counts many realizations, staged, interpreted by deaf and hearing professional actors.

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

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". 

The Centre was at the forefront in establishing the disciplines of deaf studies and deafhood. It used British Sign Language (BSL), had a policy of bilingual communication in BSL and English, and employed a majority of deaf teaching staff.

Research at the Centre fell into five areas: the language, linguistics and literature of sign language; acquisition of sign language; community and deaf culture, known as "deafhood"; cognition and psychology; and the applications of technology, such as videotelephony and e-learning.

The Centre was an innovator in education. In 1981, it offered the first university-level certificate course in BSL for professionals. In 1985, it started a diploma course, social science in deaf studies.

This was followed in 1987 by a part-time course in sign language interpretation, which became full-time in 1990.

In 1992, the Centre established the earliest full-time, university-level training programme for Deaf people to be taught in sign language.

In 1993, a Diploma of Higher Education was established, the earliest undergraduate course on deaf studies in the UK, and in 1999, the first BSc and MSc in deaf studies followed.

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.

Bristol

Click on the picture to see the video ^

Filmed over 12 months, the film above shows life at the Centre, the University and Bristol for staff and students throughout the 2008/2009 academic year.

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1970: Foundation of Tyst Theatre (Sweden)

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 has been part of Riksteatern since 1977.

Tyst Teater is constantly striving to challenge ingrained notions within theatre and other dramatic arts. We want to push the boundaries and at the same time provide a fixed point for the sign-language audience. Watching a Tyst Teater performance should be like coming home for our audience.

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.

They also work constantly to improve our collaboration with international interest organisations and theatres. Today’s selection of dramatic arts in sign language is devastatingly thin. For that reason, Tyst Teater is playing an invaluable role. They will keep using the dramatic arts to reflect, influence, impact and change. 

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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

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.

Closed captioning (CC) and subtitling are both processes of displaying text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information.

Closed captioning of TV programmes made tv programmes accessible to deaf people. Most EU countries now have legislation that requires a percentage of all public programmes to have subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing. 

The term "closed" (versus "open") indicates that the captions are not visible until activated by the viewer, usually via the remote control or menu option (teletext page 888, in most countries).

Both typically transcribe the audio portion of a program as it occurs (either verbatim or in edited form), sometimes including descriptions of non-speech elements. Other uses have included providing a textual alternative language translation of a presentation's primary audio language that is usually burned-in (or "open") to the video and unselectable.

The United Kingdom, Ireland, and most other countries do not distinguish between subtitles and closed captions and use "subtitles" as the general term. 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed_captioning

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1981: Irish Deaf Society (IDS)

1981: Irish Deaf Society (IDS)

1981: Irish Deaf Society (IDS)

The Irish Deaf Society (IDS) is the national representative organisation of 5000 Deaf and hard of hearing people.

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. Barriers back in the 1980s included a lack of subtitles on Irish TV, a lack of Irish Sign Language Interpreters, a lack of information being translated into Irish Sign Language and a general lack of awareness from the community on who and what the Irish Deaf community were about.

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1981: Sweden, Legal Recognition of Swedish Sign Language

1981: Sweden, Legal Recognition of Swedish Sign Language

1981: Sweden, Legal Recognition of Swedish Sign Language

Swedish Sign Language (Svenskt teckenspråk or SSL) is the sign language used in Sweden. It is recognized by the Swedish government as the country's official sign language, and hearing parents of deaf individuals are entitled to access state-sponsored classes that facilitate their learning of SSL. There are fewer than 10,000 speakers, making the language officially endangered.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.

Per the Education Act 1998, deaf children are expected to be able to write in Swedish and English, in addition to expressing their thoughts in Swedish Sign Language. Thus, six state-run schools (one of which specializes in learning disabilities) have been established regionally for deaf children who cannot attend traditional comprehensive schools."

Source: https://rm.coe.int/16805a2a1a

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1983: Foundation of EDSO, European Deaf Sports Organisation

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.

Countries which applied with the CISS for the organisation of a European Championship did get the authorisation without any problems. There were times in which there were 6 – 10 European Championships within on year. However, the European Countries were not able to finance this.

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.

Apart from European Championships qualification matches have to be carried out in football, basketball (woman and men) and volleyball (woman and men) preliminary to the respective European Championships, since only 12 teams are able to participate in order to observe financial and time frames. A fixed number of the qualified teams are at the same time qualified for the participation in the World Games.

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

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.

Based in Brussels, Belgium, EUD is a not-for-profit European non-Governmental organisation (ENGO) whose members comprise of National Associations of the Deaf (NADs). It is the only supranational organisation representing Deaf people at European level and is one of the few ENGOs representing associations from all of the 28 EU Member States, in addition to EFTA countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

EUD aims to establish and maintain EU level dialogue with its relative institutions and officials, in consultation and co-operation with its member NADs. EUD is a full member of the European Disability Forum (EDF) and is a Regional Co-operating Member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) to tackle issues of global importance, and also has participatory status with the Council of Europe (CoE). 

First President: John Young (  United Kingdom). 1985 - 1989

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.

https://www.eud.eu/about-us/about-us/

Click on the picture below for a Documentary made for the 30 Years Anniversary of EUD, in 2016:

 

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2000 to Now

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

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. 

In 1992, the Council of the Deaf succumbed to organizational and financial problems. Three years later, a new organization was founded: NEDO, the Dutch Deaf Organisation. NEDO did not have an easy time in the beginning because they had to regain the trust of the consultation partners.

In 1999 NEDO was transformed into the current Dovenschap.

Dovenschap is in fact an umbrella body in which 6 national organizations for the deaf and 13 regional welfare foundations are affiliated. It consists of a board of 6 board members (all volunteers), who all have one or more portfolio(s) in their duties. 

Important policies for Dovenschap include:

  • Recognition of the Sign Language of the Netherlands
  • Good information for parents of deaf children (including about the cochlear implant and Sign Language)
  • Good quality education for the deaf
  • Equal treatment of the deaf in society. Accessibility of society
  • Sufficient supply of sign language interpreters

Partly as a result of the government's changed subsidy policy, Dovenschap has become a membership organization as of April 21, 2007, so that individual membership is also possible. T

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

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". 

The Centre was at the forefront in establishing the disciplines of deaf studies and deafhood. It used British Sign Language (BSL), had a policy of bilingual communication in BSL and English, and employed a majority of deaf teaching staff.

Research at the Centre fell into five areas: the language, linguistics and literature of sign language; acquisition of sign language; community and deaf culture, known as "deafhood"; cognition and psychology; and the applications of technology, such as videotelephony and e-learning.

The Centre was an innovator in education. In 1981, it offered the first university-level certificate course in BSL for professionals. In 1985, it started a diploma course, social science in deaf studies.

This was followed in 1987 by a part-time course in sign language interpretation, which became full-time in 1990.

In 1992, the Centre established the earliest full-time, university-level training programme for Deaf people to be taught in sign language.

In 1993, a Diploma of Higher Education was established, the earliest undergraduate course on deaf studies in the UK, and in 1999, the first BSc and MSc in deaf studies followed.

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.

Bristol

Click on the picture to see the video ^

Filmed over 12 months, the film above shows life at the Centre, the University and Bristol for staff and students throughout the 2008/2009 academic year.

Source:

1990 - 2005: Knud Søndergaard President of EUD

1990 - 2005: Knud Søndergaard President of EUD

1990 - 2005: Knud Søndergaard President of EUD

EUD President 1990 - 2005: Knud Søndergaard (Denmark)

Click on the picture for a video of Knud Søndergaard.

1990 - 2015: Handtheater

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.

Originating from the deaf community, a minority with its own language and culture, Handtheater gave bilingual performances, in Dutch Sign Language and spoken Dutch, in the regular theatre circuit in the Netherlands and abroad.

Handtheater was founded on May 2, 1990 and has been inactive since July 2015.

Source:

2000: Greece, Legal Recognition of Greek Sign Language

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.

2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

2000: Latvia, Legal Recognition of Latvian Sign Language

"Latvian Sign Language (Latvian: latviešu zīmju valoda) is a sign language commonly used by deaf people in Latvia. Linguists use LSL as an acronym for 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."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latvian_Sign_Language 

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2001: Foundation of Teater Manu (Norway)

2001: Foundation of Teater Manu (Norway)

2001: Foundation of Teater Manu (Norway)

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

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

How it started:

From 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2001, a three-year project was carried out to create a professional sign language theatre in Norway. The project was established at Ål Folk High School and the Center for the Deaf.

The goal was artistic quality and professionalism, sign language as an artistic language, and drama in sign language. One should show visual theatre of literary theatre texts translated into sign language, or self-produced plays in sign language.

During the trial project period a number of performances were played with the piece Help, we get guests! (1999). This was the first professional performance of sign language plays in Norway. In 2001, the Storting decided that the theatre had the right of life and that it should be established in Oslo.

The new theatre's first permanent hangout was at Sven Bruns gate 7, and this also marks the start of Theatre Manu.

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.

Source:

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

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.

From 1987 to 2000, the company directors pioneered "signdance theatre", a fusion of sign theatre, dance and live original music.

Since 2001, Signdance Collective has continued to evolve signdance theatre initiating international collaborations and working alongside innovative artists, theatre philosophers and performance companies across the world.

The directors at Signdance Collective have worked with hundreds of people of all ages throughout the UK and internationally, delivering workshops, and producing new work.

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.

 

Source:

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

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

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

"18 April 2019 - 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.

Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer welcomed the decision, saying that the deaf and hearing-impaired considered the sign language their native language and that its status needed to be regulated.

"Communication and language as well as the right to their use are essential for social inclusion and implementation of the basic human rights. Without communication an individual cannot fully participate in the society," said the minister.

The sign language will be thus recognised as one of the official languages in the constitution pending approval by the National Assembly. Simultaneous interpretation of government statements into the sign language has already been standard practice at press conferences."

"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."

Source: https://www.total-slovenia-news.com/news/page-255?sa=U&ved=658 

"A year after endorsing in principle a proposal to enter the Slovenian sign language into the constitution, the parliamentary Constitutional Commission met on Thursday to continue the debate, only to suspend it again to clarify a proposal to also include the Hungarian and Italian sign languages."

Source: https://english.sta.si/2628169/government-adopts-proposal-to-enter-sign-language-into-constitution

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2002: Foundation of Deafinitely Theatre Company (UK)

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. 

An interview with Paula Garfield (english text): https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/features/paula-garfield-deafinitely-theatre-mike-bartlett-contractions-british-sign-language-a8065721.html

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2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

2002: Germany, Legal Recognition of German Sign Language

"German Sign Language or Deutsche Gebärdensprache (DGS), is the sign language of the deaf community in Germany and in the German-speaking community of Belgium. The language has evolved through use in deaf communities over hundreds of years.

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."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Sign_Language 

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2002: Romania, Legal Recognition of Romanian Sign Language

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.

... still looking for more information...

Source:

2003: UK, Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

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.

Clark Denmark

Click on the picture to see the video ^

Documentary. The Battle for BSL (BSL and English subtitles) looks at how BSL was first identified and how the language's status has developed since. Among other key events, it includes the BSL marches that led to BSL recognition in 2003, and the landmark BSL (Scotland) Bill which was passed in 2015. 

It is presented by Clark Denmark and features prominent Deaf people such as Lilian Lawson and Gerry Hughes

This documentary was directed by Louis Neethling and was produced by AC2.com Productions.

Source:

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

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.

The CinéSourds association created this festival in 2003 in order to "defend the creation and expression of artists in sign language". There were three invited foreign artists: Lars Otterstedt, Swedish director, Con Melhum, Norwegian director and Giuseppe Giuranna, Italian actor.

For this first festival, around 400 people came. But it was in 2005 that the Clin d'oeil festival as such really started.

During its fifth edition, in 2011, more than 6,000 visitors participated in the various events.

For its tenth anniversary, in 2013, the festival was able to welcome more than 3,000 people a day and 275 artists.

In 2015, nearly 4,500 festival-goers per day benefited from an international theatrical and cinematographic program.

piscina

PISCINA street theatre, see: https://www.clin-doeil.eu/en-gb/street_theatre 

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2003: Paddy Lad, "Deafhood"

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. 

"This text presents a Traveller's Guide to deaf culture, starting from the premise that deaf cultures have an important contribution to make to other academic disciplines, and human lives in general. Within and outside deaf communities, there is a need for an account of the new concept of deaf culture, which enables readers to assess its place alongside work on other minority cultures and multilingual discourses.

The book aims to assess the concepts of culture, on their own terms and in their many guises and to apply these to deaf communities. The author illustrates the pitfalls which have been created for those communities by the medical concept of deafness and contrasts this with his new concept of deafhood, a process by which every deaf child, family and adult implicitly explains their existance in the world to themselves and each other."

https://books.google.nl/books/about/Understanding_Deaf_Culture.html?id=Pr649oNCaSMC&redir_esc=y


DEAFHOOD is described as a journey that each Deaf person undertakes to discover his/her identity and purpose in this life as a Deaf person among other people.

It is a positive approach to re-affirming Deaf people’s role and place in society, history and the world.

Deafhood also focuses on the historical, cultural and linguistic reality of Deaf people, and maintains a larger worldview as opposed to minimizing the community into miserable (or glorified) individuals who seek access solely through hearing. (http://deafhood.org). 


"For Paddy Ladd - writer, academic and activist - school was a desperate strain. As one of the first deaf children in mainstream education, he was not taught to sign but forced to use his eyes and wits to work out what was going on. He recalls: "I was told: 'You're not a deaf child - you're just a hearing child who can't hear'."

The edict devastated his self-image. When he struggled to cope, he reasoned that he must be stupid. He withdrew from the world and buried himself in books. "I lived in a state of numbness with no thoughts as to what I could become," he says.

What Ladd became was a pioneer. He initiated deaf television programming in Britain in the 1980s; worked as the first deaf presenter of BBC television's See Hear!; created the world's first sign language pop video and devised the first masters course in deaf culture. He signed songs at Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead concerts in the US, learning the words by heart and being cued when each line started.

Ladd the activist has tirelessly rallied against "oralist" policies and attitudes that, he argues, prevent deaf children and their parents from learning or using sign language to communicate.

His latest book, Understanding Deaf Culture presents a scholarly case for why deaf people are a linguistic minority, rather than a group of people needing to be "cured". Drawing on examples from philosophy, visual art and literature spanning the history of western civilisation, he argues that oralism is relatively recent and that sign language was once greatly respected - even revered - by deaf and hearing people.

The edict devastated his self-image. When he struggled to cope, he reasoned that he must be stupid. He withdrew from the world and buried himself in books. "I lived in a state of numbness with no thoughts as to what I could become," he says.

What Ladd became was a pioneer. He initiated deaf television programming in Britain in the 1980s; worked as the first deaf presenter of BBC television's See Hear!; created the world's first sign language pop video and devised the first masters course in deaf culture. He signed songs at Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead concerts in the US, learning the words by heart and being cued when each line started.

continue reading: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/mar/19/guardiansocietysupplement5


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

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

According to the Décret relatif à la reconnaissance de la langue des signes (Decree on the Recognition of Sign Language), "It concerns a symbolic recognition that goes hand-in-hand with a general measure, permitting every minister to take action in fields relative to his authority."

2004: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

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:

Sign language is of basic importance for the development of language, personality and thinking of deaf children. For the deaf, sign language is the most important source of knowledge and their route to participation in Icelandic culture and the culture of the deaf. Sign language is of great importance for all school work and for the pupils' life and work.

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2004: Ομοσπονδία Κωφών Κύπρου Cyprus Deaf Federation

2004: Ομοσπονδία Κωφών Κύπρου Cyprus Deaf Federation

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2005 - 2007: Helga Stevens President of EUD

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

2005: Austria, Legal Recognition of Austrian Sign Language

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

On 1 September 2005, the Constitution of Austria was amended to include a new article: §8 (3) Die Österreichische Gebärdensprache ist als eigenständige Sprache anerkannt. Das Nähere bestimmen die Gesetze. ("Austrian Sign Language is recognised as an independent language. The laws will determine the details.")

2006: Cyprus, Legal Recognition of Cypriot Sign Language

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.

It appears to be a pidgin of American Sign Language and Greek Sign Language, not yet a fully developed language.

The Greek Cypriot deaf community predominantly uses the Greek Sign Language (the Turkish Cypriot deaf community uses the Turkish Sign Language)."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypriot_Sign_Language

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

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. The recognition entails:

  • a cultural (symbolic) recognition
  • the formation of a commission to advise the Flemish government on all VGT-related matters
  • funding of VGT research and development

Cultural recognition entails that the Flemish Government recognises the Flemish Sign Language as the language of the Deaf Community in Flanders. This 'recognition' encompasses the following three meanings:

(1) the Flemish Government acknowledges the correctness of the fact that the Flemish Sign Language is the language of the Deaf Community in Flanders,

(2) the Flemish Government also accepts the existence of this language in the judicial domain and treats it accordingly and

(3) the Flemish Government expresses its respect for this language.

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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)

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 (UN CRPD) was adopted on 13 December 2006 and was opened for signature on 30 March 2007.

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.

The Convention is a benchmark document that works to ensure the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by persons with disabilities. Together with other international human rights and development instruments, a comprehensive international framework is established to guide national policy-making and legislation, including international cooperation, for building an inclusive society, and fostering disability-inclusive development.

At the international level these instruments promote and support disability- inclusive policies and practices. At the national level, they require harmonization of national legislation, policies and programmes in line with these international norms and standards.

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2007 - 2013: Berglind Stefánsdóttir President of EUD

2007 - 2013: Berglind Stefánsdóttir President of EUD

2007 - 2013: Berglind Stefánsdóttir President of EUD

EUD President 2007 - 2013: Berglind Stefánsdóttir (  Iceland)

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

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

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. It notes that signed Estonian is a mode of the Estonian (spoken) language (par. 1(3)):

(3) Estonian Sign Language is an independent language and signed Estonian language is a mode of the Estonian language.

Further, it states (Par1(4)):

(4) The state shall promote the use and development of the Estonian language, Estonian Sign Language and signed Estonian language.

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. The Language Act accords Estonian Sign language similar status as the surrounding spoken language, separating it from other minority languages in the country. (..)

2009: Macedonia, Legal Recognition of Macedonian Sign Language

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. The Macedonian law defines it as following:

The Sign language, according to this law, is recognised as a natural way of communication, equal to the oral communication. The Sign language is a language that is used for mutual understanding between the people with hearing impairment, i.e. it is a natural means of communication among these and other physical and juridical people. The language is a visual system of signs, that understands special positions, directions and movements of hands and fingers and mimicry on the face.

However, the law includes several things, such as: defining the language itself, the rights of the deaf people of North Macedonia, studying the language and preparing adequate interpreters, it defines the tasks of the National Association of Deaf People of North Macedonia and its financing and it secures proper implementation of the right of the deaf people. Basically, each individual is allowed to request a Sign language interpreter and the institution where such request has been made, or the individual itself, is obliged to find one."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macedonian_Sign_Language

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2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

2009: Hungary, Legal Recognition of Hungarian Sign Language

"Hungarian Sign Language is the sign language of deaf people in Hungary.

There is historical evidence that Hungarian and Austrian Sign Language are related, but Bickford (2005) found that Hungarian, Slovak, and Czech Sign formed a cluster with Romanian, Bulgarian, and Polish Sign rather than with Austrian.

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

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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

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

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.

A Commission for the Sign Language is composed of members representing education, linguistics/pedagogy, and the three constituent nations of Bosnia. 

By law, Croatian Radiotelevision is to promote the translation of programs into sign language. In Kosovo, sign-language interpreters appear on television newscasts."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yugoslav_Sign_Language

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2010: UN CRPD ratification by the EU

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.

All EU Member States have now signed and ratified the convention. 

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2010: ICED, Apologies for Milan Conference

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. 

These resolutions banned sign language in educational programs for deaf children, resulting in deprivation of access to quality education and minimal equality in life for Deaf citizens all over the world. 

The Vancouver ICED 2010 Organizing Committee and the British Columbia Deaf Community (BCDC) collaborated on the statement, “A New Era: Deaf Participation and Collaboration” which rejected the Milan resolutions, expressed deep regret for the detrimental effects of the Milan resolutions, and promoted the acceptance of and respect for all languages and forms of communication in educational programs. 

The New Era Accord begins with the statement of working with national governments to adhere to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which states that sign language is a human right and that education includes full acquisition of language, academic, practical and social knowledge. 

The other statements include endorsement of the resolutions adopted by the World Federation of the Deaf at its 15th Congress in 2007 including equal and appropriate access to a multi-lingual, multi-cultural education; inclusion of Sign Languages as legitimate languages equal to the nation’s spoken languages; the inclusion of Deaf people in all aspects of education from the very onset; and the promotion of human rights for all. 

After Joe McLaughlin, member of the Organizing Committee, read the Statement of Principle and Accord for the Future to the plenary audience of about 750 participants, there were emotional cheering and standing high-fives ovations in response to this significant dawning of a new era of human rights and alliances. Participants at the ICED Congress and the BCDC were invited to sign the document. 

icedvideo

Click on the picture to see the video ^

The above film presents the International Signs version of “A New Era: Deaf Participation and Collaboration” which replaces ICED Milan 1880 Resolutions by rejecting them and lists several callings upon Nations of the world to take heed of requests by both the global educational community (International Congress on Education of the Deaf) and the global Deaf community represented by the B.C. Deaf Community, Canadian Association of the Deaf, and the World Federation of the Deaf.
Translated by Institute for German Sign Language and Communication for the Deaf at University Hamburg, Gebardenwerk, Hamburg, Germany.

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2011: Iceland, Legal Recognition of Icelandic Sign Language

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.

All those who need to use Icelandic Sign Language shall have the opportunity to learn and use Icelandic Sign language as soon as their language acquisition process begins, or from the time when deafness, hearing impairment or deaf-blindness is diagnosed. Their immediate family members shall have the same right.

In no.61/2011 under Article 3 it states that, "Icelandic sign language is the first language of those who have to rely on it for expression and communication, and of their children. The government authorities shall nurture and support it. All those who need to use sign language shall have the opportunity to learn and use Icelandic sign language as soon as their language acquisition process begins, or from the time when deafness, hearing impairment or deaf-blindness is diagnosed. Their immediate family members shall have the same right."

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

Article 7 appoints the Icelandic Sign Language Committee whose role it is to give advice to the government regarding the implementation of regulations for Icelandic Sign Language.

Article 13 provides that all who need Icelandic Sign Language services will have access to them.

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2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

2011: Poland, Legal Recognition of Polish Sign Language

"Polish Sign Language ("Polski Język Migowy", PJM) is the language of the Deaf community in Poland. It descends from German Sign Language.

Its lexicon and grammar are distinct from the Polish language, although there is a manually coded version of Polish known as System Językowo-Migowy (SJM, or Signed Polish), which is often used by interpreters on television and by teachers in schools.

It was first formed/became prevalent around 1817. Around that time the Instytut Głuchoniemych(Institute for the deaf) was founded by Jakub Falkowski, who began teaching deaf children after meeting a deaf boy by the name of Piotr Gąsowski.

Polish Sign Language uses a distintive one-handed manual alphabet based on the alphabet used in Old French Sign Language.

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

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Sign_Language

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2013 - now: Dr Markku Jokinen President of EUD

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.


Markku Jokinen was born in 1959 in Jämsänkoski, Finland. He earned his M.A. in Education, Certified Teacher of Comprehensive School, from the University of Jyväskylä in 1991, became a Certified Teacher of the Deaf in 1992, and did postgraduate work in Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and Sign Language Linguistics at the University of Rochester from 1992-93. He is currently pursuing a doctorate. In 2012, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Gallaudet University.

He served as President of the World Federation of the Deaf from 2003 to 2011, participating in the historic ICED 2010 in Vancouver that offiicially repudiated the resolutions adopted at the second ICED (the infamous 18890 Congress of Milan, which sought to banish sign language from the classroom, replacing it with Pure-Oralism).

He is currently President of the Finnish Association of the Deaf, and advocating for Finland's signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is still unratified there (and was outvoted in the USA last year here).

 Source: https://www.deafpeople.com/dp_of_month/Jokinen.html 

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

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.

Martin Cros and Alexandre Bernhardt are leading this unique project in France and in Europe, driven by their educational, cultural and human success in teaching theater in sign language since 2013 at the Théâtre du Grand Rond in Toulouse. Olivier Schetrit, actor and storyteller in sign language, Doctor of Anthropology, sponsors the project.

The school also relies on a large community of signatory cultural associations specific to the city of Toulouse. Many sign actors and stage directors of sign language shows will participate in this training to promote the development and visibility of visual engineering specific to sign language.

GOAL
The school aims to train future students:

  • theater actors,
  • film actors and actresses,
  • storytellers,
  • actor trainers,
  • creators of shows,
  • directors.
  • being a general practitioner,

it is also a gateway for people signing up to become:

  • playwright,
  • scenographer,
  • light manager,
  • decorator.

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.

(translation from French by Google Translate)

640x410 partie stagiaires premiere formation diplomante art spectacle visuel langue signes dispensee universite jean jaures scene theatre grand rond

Une partie des stagiaires de la première formation diplomante — Samuel Martin/UT2J.

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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

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.

Dr Kauppinen was particularly effective in securing the inclusion of references to signed languages, Deaf Culture, Deaf Community and the identity of deaf people within the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). 

The focus of Dr Kauppinen’s human rights work, however, has not been exclusively on the rights of deaf people, but also on human rights for all.  She has promoted both rights of women and women with disabilities through co-operation with other human rights activists, representatives of governments and international non-governmental organisations.

Liisa Kauppinen

Click on the picture to see the video.

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2014: Denmark, Legal Recognition of Danish Sign Language

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

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. During the communist era, deaf people did not associate with each other on a regular basis. Their communication was primarily with hearing people, and so was strongly influenced by Albanian, with extensive use of fingerspelling and initialized signs, along with some gestures borrowed from hearing people.

After the collapse of communism, deaf people began to congregate and a fully-fledged sign language developed. They invented new signs to replace the former use of fingerspelling, and also came into contact with International Sign and other European sign languages, resulting in numerous loan words. The language continues to change rapidly, with innovations tending to radiate from the capital, Tirana, to rural areas."

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_Sign_Language

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2014: Helga Stevens second Deaf Member of the European Parliament

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.

In October 2016, the ECR group announced Stevens as their group’s choice to be the next President of the European Parliament.

Helga Stevens

Click on the picture to see the video ^

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2015: Croatia, Legal Recognition of Croatian Sign Language

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. It has in the past been regarded as a dialect of Yugoslav Sign Language, although the dialectical diversity of the former Yugoslavia has not been assessed.

(..)

In 2004, a project to establish a grammar of HZJ was started by researchers at Purdue University and the University of Zagreb.

By law Croatian Radiotelevision is to promote the translation of programs into HZJ. Major centres of education in HZJ are found in Zagreb, Split, and Osijek."

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatian_Sign_Language  

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2015: British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill passed unanimously

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.

BSL users in Scotland from the cradle to the grave will be greatly affected by the BSL (Scotland) Bill. This recognition of their first and preferred language will improve their access, inclusion and sense of belonging in Scotland. In terms of education, the younger generation of the Deaf community will now be entitled to equal opportunities, and therefore be able to cultivate similar beliefs about their future to their hearing peers which is a very important goal for BDA.

The BSL (Scotland) Bill will also positively impact quality of life in relation to health, the elderly, employment, leisure and arts. In terms of health, Deaf people will have better access to medical care, for example, hospital information leaflets will have to be translated into BSL. From a jobs and employment perspective, more Deaf people will be able to access work as BSL, and the use of BSL Interpreters, becomes more visible and more employers learn about relevant support programmes.

Clark Denmark

Click on the picture to see the video ^

Documentary. The Battle for BSL (BSL and English subtitles) looks at how BSL was first identified and how the language's status has developed since. Among other key events, it includes the BSL marches that led to BSL recognition in 2003, and the landmark BSL (Scotland) Bill which was passed in 2015. It is presented by Clark Denmark and features prominent Deaf people such as Lilian Lawson and Gerry Hughes

This documentary was directed by Louis Neethling and was produced by AC2.com Productions.

 

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2015: Serbia, Legal Recognition of Serbian Sign Language

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.

The Assembly of the Republic of Serbia sat in parliament on the 28th of April, 2015 and adopted the ‘Law on the use of Sign Language'. Despite 30 amendments being made, 164 of the 166 members of parliament voted in favour of the law, while 2 abstained. The National Radio and Television of Serbia provided a live broadcast, with sign language interpretation, of all the interventions and associated amendments discussed in chamber up until the vote took place.

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2015: European Parliament supports full implementation of UN CRPD

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.

Through its resolution, the European Parliament supports the adoption of two key pieces of legislation: the European Accessibility Act and the General Antidiscrimination Directive; both pieces of legislation are essential part of implementing the UN Convention.

As a party to the UN Convention, the EU should also ensure that all its external actions foster the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities through their representative organisations.

 

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2016: Malta, Legal Recognition of Maltese Sign Language

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

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.

Before 2017, there was no automatic right for deaf people to have an ISL interpreter except for criminal-court proceedings. ISL recognition provides more legal rights and better access to public services, including education, healthcare, media and banking.

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2017: 23 September marked as International Day of Sign Languages

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.

The first International Day of Sign languages was celebrated in 2018 under the theme “With Sign Language, Everyone is Included!”

The resolution establishing the day acknowledges that early access to sign language and services in sign language, including quality education available in sign language, is vital to the growth and development of the deaf individual and critical to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals.

It recognizes the importance of preserving sign languages as part of linguistic and cultural diversity. It also emphasizes the principle of “nothing about us without us” in terms of working with deaf communities.

Click on the picture to see Christian Rathmann on the International Day of Sign Languages, 2020.

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2018: Luxembourg, Legal Recognition of Luxembourg Sign Language

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.

It will also state the right for every deaf or hard of hearing child to attend classes in sign language in primary and secondary school, whether in a specialised or at an ordinary school. (..)

The bill states that sign language is different from the language (LUG) currently being taught in Luxembourg schools. Sign languages evolved naturally and have not been “invented” by any one person. (..)

The German sign language was chosen because the current “Deutsche Gebärdensprache” (DSG) is used by the majority of the community, and follows the recommendations by Daaflux and experts and NGOs in the field.'

 

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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

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.
(..)
There aren’t many European countries who needed to wait this long for legal recognition of their national sign language(s), so the long awaited legal recognition is more than just a significant milestone. During the last 30 years the question of the legal recognition of NGT has repeatedly been raised, but the choice was always made to approach this recognition pragmatically, and to focus on the societal and political aspects of the recognition. And with success, because there are quite a lot of provisions for deaf people and NGT in the Netherlands that are very well regulated, in legislation and in policy. But up to today, the legal part of the recognition was missing. That amounts to not recognizing deaf people, and without legal recognition NGT’s position would be more vulnerable. For a significant part of the deaf community in the Netherlands NGT is an important language, and the proposers of the law explicitly state that medical-technological innovations did not change this fact."

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2021: Bulgaria: Legal Recognition of Bulgarian Sign Language

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. (..)

The Deaf Community will now have all the rights that the new law gives them: to be able to teach Deaf children and students through Bulgarian Sign Language, to receive information through Bulgarian Sign Language and to be confident that they can always and everywhere use their language! However, the work has to continue with BGSL development work and the elaboration on BGSL educational resources. Once the Bulgarian Sign language is equal to the Bulgarian spoken language, opportunities for bilingual education for the Deaf will be initiated."

From: https://www.helpalliance.org/en/aktuelles/bulgarian-sign-language-officially-recognized/

BulgarianSignLanguage

more coming soon... 

 

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