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Teacher, co-founder of the first permanent school for the Deaf in North America.
Louis Laurent Marie Clerc
December 26, 1785
|Died||July 18, 1869 83) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Eliza Crocker Boardman|
Louis Laurent Marie Clerc (French: [lɔʁɑ̃ klɛʁ] ; 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.
Deaf culture is the set of social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values, and shared institutions of communities that are influenced by deafness and which use sign languages as the main means of communication. When used as a cultural label especially within the culture, the word deaf is often written with a capital D and referred to as "big D Deaf" in speech and sign. When used as a label for the audiological condition, it is written with a lower case d. Carl G. Croneberg coined the term of "Deaf Culture" and he was the first to discuss analogies between Deaf and hearing cultures in his appendices C/D of the 1965 Dictionary of American Sign Language.
Jean Massieu 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 Bordeaux School for Deaf Children. There he learned to read and write French, and later helped develop the first formalized French 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.
The Reverend Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, LL.D.,(December 10, 1787 – September 10, 1851) was an American educator. Along with Laurent Clerc and Mason Cogswell, he co-founded the first institution for the education of the deaf in North America, and he became its first principal. When opened on April 15, 1817, it was called the "Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons," but it is now known as the American School for the Deaf.
Born December 26, 1785 in La Balme-les-Grottes, Isère, a village on the northeastern edge of Lyon to Joseph-François Clerc and Marie-Élisabeth Candy in the small village of La Balme where his father was the mayor. Laurent Clerc's home was a typical bourgeois household. When he was one year old, Clerc fell from a chair into a fire, suffering a severe burn and obtained a permanent scar on the right side of his cheek. Clerc's family believed his deafness and inability to smell were caused by this accident, but Clerc later wrote that he was not certain and might be born deaf and without the ability to smell. The facial scar provided later the basis for his name sign, performed with the manual alphabet for "U", stroked twice downward on the right cheek. Clerc's name sign has become the best personal identifier in the American Deaf History.
La Balme-les-Grottes is a commune in the Isère department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France.
Isère is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France named after the river Isère.
Clerc attended the Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris and was taught by Abbe Sicard and deaf Jean Massieu. Clerc eventually became a teacher there. In 1815 he traveled with Sicard and Massieu to England to give a lecture and coincidentally met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet who was traveling in search of means for instructing deaf children. Gallaudet was invited to visit the school in Paris. Then in 1816, after a few months of hospitation, he invited Clerc to accompany him to the United States to establish the first permanent school for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, which now is known as American School for the Deaf.
Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris is the current name of the school for the Deaf founded by Charles-Michel de l'Épée, in stages, between 1750 and 1760 in Paris, France.
Roch-Ambroise Cucurron Sicard was a French abbé and instructor of the deaf.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
During the trip across the ocean, Clerc learned English from Gallaudet, and Gallaudet sign language from Clerc.
He died at the age of 83 at his home in Hartford. The 1869 obituary in the New York Times says, Clerc came to Hartford in 1816 and became a teacher in 1817, then served more than 50 years "in the cause of deaf-mute instruction" and "his abilities, zeal, and graces of character made him always respected and loved."Clerc married one of the first pupils Eliza Crocker Boardman.
Generally prior to the onset of organized education of the deaf, deaf people were regarded as uneducable and equalized them to idiots. Laurent Clerc became the most recognizable figure that shaped the education of the deaf in the United States as the exemplary personification of educability and high intellect of a person who could not hear since birth or during the early toddlerhood, nor speak and, despite these, acquired excellent command of spoken languages at the ages way beyond the prime age of natural language acquisition.
Due to Clerc's watershed contribution to the American Education of the Deaf, several awards, buildings, funds, etc. were named after him, as seen most notably at Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing. It is located in Washington, D.C. on a 99-acre (0.40 km2) campus.
Laurent Clerc is portrayed in the fictional film Sign Gene , the superhero film about deaf mutants who have superhuman powers through the use of sign language, as the fourth great-grandfather of the leading character Tom Clerc (played by Emilio Insolera). The film was released in September 2017.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural language that serves as the predominant sign language of Deaf communities in the United States and most of Anglophone Canada. Besides North America, dialects of ASL and ASL-based creoles are used in many countries around the world, including much of West Africa and parts of Southeast Asia. ASL is also widely learned as a second language, serving as a lingua franca. ASL is most closely related to French Sign Language (LSF). It has been proposed that ASL is a creole language of LSF, although ASL shows features atypical of creole languages, such as agglutinative morphology.
The Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, D.D., an American Episcopal priest, was born in Hartford, Connecticut. His father, the Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, LL.D. was the renowned pioneer of deaf education in the United States. His mother, Sophia Fowler Gallaudet, who was deaf, was the founding matron of the school that became Gallaudet University.
Edward Miner Gallaudet, son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Sophia Fowler Gallaudet, was a famous early educator of the deaf in Washington, DC.
Manualism is a method of education of deaf students using sign language within the classroom. Manualism arose in the late 18th century with the advent of free public schools for the deaf in Europe. These teaching methods were brought over to the United States where the first school for the deaf was established in 1817. Today manualism methods are used in conjunction with oralism methods in the majority of American deaf schools.
Old French Sign Language is the language of the deaf community in 18th-century Paris at the time of the establishment of the first deaf schools. The earliest records of the language are in the work of the Abbé de l'Épée, who stumbled across two sisters communicating in signs and, through them, became aware of a signing community of 200 deaf Parisians.
The history of deaf people and their culture make up deaf history. The Deaf culture is a culture that is centered on sign language and relationships among one another. Unlike other cultures the Deaf culture is not associated with any native land as it is a global culture. By some, deafness may be viewed as a disability, but the Deaf world sees itself as a language minority. Throughout the years many accomplishments have been achieved by deaf people. To name the most famous, Ludwig van Beethoven and Thomas Alva Edison were both deaf and contributed great works to culture.
Ferdinand Berthier was a deaf educator, intellectual and political organiser in nineteenth-century France, and is one of the earliest champions of deaf identity and culture.
The Clerc Classic Basketball Tournament originated at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in 2000 under its Athletic Director, Michael Weinstock, who envisioned a national basketball tournament bringing together outstanding athletes from the top Deaf schools to one site and let them claim the championship. The tournament typically occurs during the second weekend of January. The school who wins that year's tournament often wins the year's Deaf Prep National Championship.
The American School for the Deaf (ASD) is the oldest permanent school for the deaf in the United States. It was founded April 15, 1817, in West Hartford, Connecticut, by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Dr. Mason Cogswell, and Laurent Clerc and became a state-supported school later that year. It was also the second and present site of Hubbard’s school.
The Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf was 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. 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. 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.
Alice Cogswell was the inspiration to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet for the creation of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut.
Roch-Ambroise Auguste Bébian was one of the first hearing educators in France to achieve native-level fluency in French Sign Language. He wrote an important book titled "Mimographie," which was published in 1825, which utilized a method of writing signs.
The Abbé Charles-Michel de l'Épée was a philanthropic educator of 18th-century France who has become known as the "Father of the Deaf".
The history of deaf education in the United States began in the early 1800s when the Cobbs School of Virginia, an oral school, was established by William Bolling and John Braidwood, and the Connecticut Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, a manual school, was established by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc. When the Cobbs School closed in 1816, the manual method, which used American Sign Language, became commonplace in deaf schools for most of the remainder of the century. In the late 1800s, schools began to use the oral method, which only allowed the use of speech, as opposed to the manual method previously in place. Students caught using sign language in oral programs were often punished. The oral method was used for many years until sign language instruction gradually began to come back into deaf education.
Sign Gene is a 2017 superhero film written, produced, and directed by Emilio Insolera. The story revolves around a deaf agent, Tom Clerc, from New York City who is a carrier of a powerful genetic mutation. He is sent to Japan with his colleague, Ken Wong, to investigate crimes believed to have been committed by Japanese deaf mutants. The film's characters, both villains and agent, use sign language as their superhuman powers. The film also stars Carola Insolera, Ben Bahan, Hiroshi Vava, Humberto Insolera, and Noboru Kuragawa.
Samuel Thomas Greene was a Deaf American educator and Ontario's first deaf teacher in 1870 at the Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, which later changed to Sir James Whitney School of the Deaf in Belleville, Ontario, Canada. He was born in 1843 in Portland, Maine and attended to America's first Deaf school in Hartford, Connecticut.
Tom Clerc is a fictional deaf superhero appearing in Sign Gene, the world’s first film about deaf superheroes. Tom is Italian American and comes from a long lineage of deaf families ranging back to the 1800 and is descendant from Laurent Clerc, French deaf teacher that established the first deaf school in the US along with Thomas Gallaudet. For the first time deaf people were able to get together and therefore gave birth to American Sign Language, thus, Laurent Clerc is also known as the “Father of American Sign Language”.
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