Possibly one of the most noteworthy and widely known members in Deaf society is Laurent Clerc. who was a instructor for the deaf. Born on December 26. 1785 in La Balme-les-Grottes. in southeasterly France to hearing parents. it is unknown for certain whether Clerc was born deaf or was deafened subsequently on in life. It is believed that Clerc became deaf at the age of one when he had fallen from his high chair into a fire. severely firing his cheek. He developed a febrility from the burn. and was subsequently found out to hold lost his sense of odor and hearing. Equally far as it is known. Clerc was non-speaking and relied on pen and paper to those who could non pass on utilizing gestural linguistic communication.
For the first 11 old ages of his life. Clerc was non sent to school. At the age of 12. he was sent to analyze at the Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Paris. France. Until that clip. Clerc had received no formal type of instruction. nor did he hold a signifier of communicating. It was at the Institute that he meant his wise man. fellow deaf individual Jean Massieu. The two went on to go womb-to-tomb friends. At the school. Clerc excelled in his surveies. In 1806. he was appointed to learn for the school and was given bid of one of the highest categories.
Clerc. his wise man Massieu. and the manager of the school. Abbe Sicard. traveled to England in 1815 to give talks and presentations on their instruction methods for the deaf. It was there that they were introduced to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. who had journeyed from Hartford. Connecticut in the United States. Gallaudet was invited to analyze their instruction methods at the school in France. and spent three months at that place larning how to discourse in gestural linguistic communication by Clerc. He persuaded Clerc to attach to him back to the United States in order to learn his methods to the deaf of the United States. Clerc agreed to come with Gallaudet in order to assist progress the instruction of deaf people in the United States.
It is of import to cognize that Clerc came to the United States with small to no cognition of the English linguistic communication. He brought with him merely the cognition of Old French Sign Language. However. during the 52-day journey he made it a point to get the hang the usage of the English linguistic communication. This cognition paired with the usage of Gallic Sign Language contributed greatly to development of American mark linguistic communication.
Together. Clerc and Gallaudet founded the first deaf school in the United States. what is now known as the American School for the Deaf in Hartford. Connecticut. The school opened on April 15. 1817 with Gallaudet functioning as the principal and Clerc as the caput instructor. Aside from learning the pupils. Clerc was responsible to developing the hereafter instructors and decision makers of the School. He was sent to other schools throughout the United States to go on to learn his methods to both pupils and prospective instructors. and his influence on learning the deaf spread widely throughout the United States.
Though Laurent Clerc had originally planned of remaining the United States for merely three old ages and so returning to his native France. Clerc married a former pupil of his and decided to settle in the provinces. He did. nevertheless. return to his fatherland to see. After 50 old ages of learning for the deaf. Clerc retired from learning in 1858. He died at the age of 84 on July 18. 1869.
The bequest of Laurent Clerc is long defying. As the first instructor for deaf persons. he pioneered a system of learning the deaf that carries on today. Without him. the American School for the Deaf may non hold come to fruition. By offering categories in mark linguistic communication. Clerc provided a span for the success of deaf people today. Aside from his instructions. Clerc was an advocator for the deaf. He supported deaf people holding the right to get married and hold entree to cardinal rights.
Personally. I feel that Laurent Clerc is one of the most of import and influential people in deaf lineage. His work in paving the manner for deaf instruction is the ground that I am able to take this category today. More significantly. his work in open uping deaf instruction is the ground that so many deaf persons have entree to higher instruction. His part to the development of American Sign Language is a big factor in the individuality of Deaf civilization and community. After all. the most outstanding characteristic in a civilization is the sense of uniformity that comes from a common linguistic communication.