American School for the Deaf

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While many people today are aware that there are specialized schools for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, many are not familiar with the history of the very first school that was erected in 1817.

On April 15, 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut the American School for the Deaf was found. This would go onto become the first school for any disability in the western part of the hemisphere. The man that would go onto finding the school was a recent Yale graduate and clergyman, named Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet; the reason that opened the school was due to his interaction with Dr. Mason Fitch Cogswell and his daughter, Alice, who was deaf. Wanting to make a difference Gallaudet ventured over to France and began learning more at the l'Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris (School for the Deaf in Paris, France) where he would meet a young, deaf teacher named Laurent Clerc, who would leave France to make a life in the United States as a permanent teacher for the deaf. 

One of the most amazing things regarding this venture of building a school that was designed for those with hearing disabilities is that it is now considered the "Mother Home", with its head school in Connecticut; there are now 49 schools across the United States, with 47 being day schools. 

Want to learn more about this? Head on over to American School for the Deaf.