Laurent Clerc, a Deaf man from France, was brought to the US by Thomas Gallaudet to help set up an educational institute for the deaf in America.
1817 Hartford Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb established
The first School for the Deaf using sign language was founded by Gallaudet and Clerc. LSF and MVSL were combined to make American Sign Language
1864 Gallaudet University founded
President Lincoln signed off on an act that allowed for the establishment of a school of the Deaf, which remains the world’s only liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
1880 Milan conference
stresses Oralism, bans sign languageAt the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf, Deaf educators from around the world gathered to discuss oral versus manual (signed) education. After deliberation, the congress endorsed oralism and passed a resolution banning the use of sign language in schools. At the congress, Alexander Graham Bell spoke for three days while advocates of American Sign Language were only given three hours to argue against oralism.
1890 National Association of the Deaf founded
NAD is an organization that promotes the civil rights of deaf individuals in the United States, created to defend the ability of the American deaf community to use sign language and organize around important issues.
1952 MVSL end
The last deaf individual from Martha’s Vineyard that knew MVSL, Katie West, passed away, effectively making MVSL an extinct language.
1960 TTY invented by Robert Weitbrecht
A teletypewriter is an electromechanical typewriter paired with a communication channel that allows people to communicate through typed messages. A TTY is required at both ends of the conversation and canbe used with either a landline or a cell phone. Its creation greatly expanded the means of long-distance communication for thedeaf.
1964 Video Relay Service invented by Robert Weitbrecht
Expands means of communication for the deaf. Video Relay Service is a form of Telecommunications Relay Service that enables people who use American Sign Language to communicate with voice telephone users through video equipment, rather than through typed text
1965 William Stokoe finishes ASL Dictionary
Stokoe was a linguist who worked to show the general public that ASL was a fully-formed language with its own grammatical structure and rich vocabulary, rather than a visual form of English or mere pantomime. He created the first ASL dictionary along with two Deaf colleagues at Gallaudet, Carl Croneberg and Dorothy Casterline.
1973 Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment and in the employment practices of federal contractors.
1975 PL 94-142 passed
allowing disabled children free, appropriate public educationThis legislation started the mainstreaming of deaf children in public schools.
1988 Deaf President Now at Gallaudet
Gallaudet had yet to have a Deaf president since its induction in 1864, and students demanded a Deaf president to represent them. The week-long protest not only led to the inauguration of a Deaf president at Gallaudet, I. King Jordan, but also spurred legislative and social change for years to come.
1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, prohibiting discrimination based on disability.1990 Americans with Disabilities ActThe Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, prohibiting discrimination based on disability.
1994 Harvard stops offering
ASL Linguistics department cites lack of funding as reason for eliminating beginning ASL courses that were taught by Marie Phillip.
1998 Clayton Valli performs at Harvard
In the late 90s, renowned Deaf linguist and ASL poet Clayton Valli came to Harvard to perform poetry at the Phillips BrooksHouse.