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“The Father of the Deaf”
In 1760, began to teach two teenage deaf girls for fear of their spiritual void from a faith transmitted by the sense of hearing.
He used Bonnet’s “The Pronunciation of the letters and the art of teaching deaf and mute to speak” as a guide.
That same year, he started a shelter for the deaf in Paris.
“Before him, we were nothing;
we were pariahs, plunged into chaos and ignorance, marginals, and ignored;
now we exist;
we have been restored to society.”
Common Deaf banquet toast
of the nineteenth century
L’Abbe de l’Epee did not invent French Sign Language. He did however take the existing signs from the Parisian Deaf. He added the grammar of the French language and a structure for the teaching of the language.
Fisher, Renate. “Abbe de l’Epee and the Living Dictionary” in Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship. John Vickrey Van Cleve, ed. Gallaudet University Press, Washington, D.C. 1993, pp. 13 - 26.
Laurent Clerc (VT), DeBee Communications, 1995.
Mottez, Bernard. “The Deaf-Mute Banquets and the Birth of the Deaf Movement” in Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship. John Vickrey Van Cleve, ed. Gallaudet University Press, Washington, D.C. 1993, pp. 27 - 39.
Van Cleve, John V., ed. Gallaudet Encyclopedia of Deaf People and Deafness. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.: St. Louis, 1987.
When the Mind Hears: Chapter 1: My New Family (VT), Sign Media, Inc. 1993.
When the Mind Hears: Exclusive Interview with Harlan Lane (VT), Sign Media, Inc. 1995.