Abbe de L’Epee

by Gideon


My favorite sign language hero would have to be Abbe de L’Epee. Abbe de L’Epee is one of the most important people in deaf history. He was the first recorded person to care for the deaf people and their problem of not being able to communicate. Abbe de L’Epee was inspired to devote his life to deaf education after meeting two deaf sisters in a poor neighborhood in Paris.

Abbe de L’Epee established the first school for the deaf in 1771 and called it the National Institute for the Mutes (mutes being what they called deaf people back then). When the school was established they began educating deaf people from all over France and he used the signs the children used at their homes to teach them French. This soon became the standard sign language Abbe taught.

Soon more schools were establish and what the children learned at the schools they brought back to their towns and communities, and this was a way sign language spread throughout Europe. Abbe L’Epee established twenty-one deaf schools and became known as the “Father of the Deaf” for all his great works with deaf. Abbe believed that sign language was the natural language for the deaf.

Abbe de L’Epee is my favorite for many reasons. I admire him for out of everything he could have done with his life he chose to help people in need and founded a working language for the deaf that would change the world of communication with the deaf. He selflessly dedicated his entire life to making a working language for the deaf and then teaching it to them. Abbe de L’Epee definitely deserved the title “Father of the Deaf”.