Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Deaf, Education for the
Jean Theodora Slobodzian
Although the first known reference to deafness was found in the Egyptian Ebers in 1500 BCE, it was not until 1578 CE that the world's first school for the deaf was established in Spain. The late 1700s saw the start of the so-called Hundred Years War, with disagreement over classroom communication modes arising in Europe: the Abbé Charles-Michel de l'Eppé of France believed sign was the natural language of the deaf (manualism), while Samuel Heinicke of Germany declared that deaf people must be taught via aural/oral means because thought was only possible through speech (oralism). In the United States, education for deaf children began in 1817 when a wealthy community leader, Mason Cogswell, sought to provide formal schooling for Alice, his deaf daughter. Cogswell sent Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet to Europe to research the best practices. After being rejected by the oralist teachers in England, Gallaudet studied with the manualist teachers ...