by Michelle Jay
(from Start ASL)
Hello everyone, I’ll start off this discussion :). My favorite person from the history of sign language is Laurent Clerc.
Laurent Clerc was the first deaf teacher of the deaf in America. He was also among the first of these educators in the world and has been known as “The Apostle of the Deaf in America” and “The Father of the Deaf.”
Not only was Laurent Clerc co-founder of the first school for the deaf in America, but he was the first great supporter of sign language over oral instruction in America, an advocate for the rights of deaf people, and he inspired the spread of deaf education across the U.S.
Laurent Clerc was also the first deaf person to stand before Congress and the first deaf person to stand before the President of the United States. One of the best impressions Clerc has left in the history of sign language is that 58% of American Sign Language can be attributed to his teachings.
Laurent Clerc has definitely played a significant part in Deaf history. Whenever I think about Deaf history, he is one of the first people that come to my mind. This is why he is my favorite historical figure from the history of sign language.
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