1.) Bible Days
The first recognized Deaf individual was the one
biblically referenced as the one Jesus healed.
2.) 1000 BC
Hebrew Law, stated that the Deaf have “limited”
rights to marriage and property. It wouldn’t allow the
discrimination of others onto them because of their
Deafness, however it did limit their ability to participate
and be active in their faith, at least in the Temple.
• 3.) 360 BC- Plato’s Cratylus
• Socrates basically states that even though an individual is
perceived to be perfect at birth, that without speech there was
no sign of intelligence, making them incapable of language.
4.) 355 BC- Aristotle Said, "Those who are born deaf all
become senseless and incapable of reason.”
5.) There are many noted literary works denouncing the Deaf,
their intelligence, and their ability of language and to learn.
* (later, Alexander Graham Bell) Socrates, Aristotle,
Lucretius and his work De Rerum Natura. And many more.
• 6.) 77 AD- Pliny the Elder published his work titled Natural
History, in which he mentioned and artist named Quintus
Pedius who was Deaf, and how in order for him to be an Artist
he had to have permission from Caesar Augustus
• 7.) 354-430 AD- Augustine believed and had stated his belief
of deafness being a hindrance to faith, “faith cometh by
hearing” On that note though he had also stated that he
believed that Deaf people were capable of language, learning
and communicating so in turn he believed they were capable
of faith and receiving salvation. (However due to his original
statement and belief that “Faith cometh by hearing” many
people misconstrued the statement to fit their biased opinion
on the Deaf and their equality or lack thereof.
• 8.) 529- The Justinian Code, (Emperor Justinian) denied
Deaf individuals the right to write a valid will,
control/own/inherit property, make contracts.
• Taking a Step Further in time
• 9.) 1880’s- Alexander Graham Bell, was a firm believer in
Oralism, he also believed that Deafness weakened society
and that is not weeded out and controlled it would grow
and eventually cause a Deaf world, which he believed to be
a great “calamity”. He proposed many ways to “fix” this
“problem” ex. Not allowing Deaf people to marry Deaf
people, or for Deaf people to have children with other Deaf
people, and so on.
• 1.) 721 – Early documentation of teaching a deaf-mute,
recognized by St. Bede, St Bede wrote about how St. John of
Beverly taught a deaf-mute to speak. (while it’s not quite what
we imagined, it is a step into the right direction- as in someone
recognized that being Deaf does not mean you are incapable of
• 2.) 1485- Another documented education of a Deaf individual,
“Rudolphus Agricola wrote about a deaf-mute who learned to
read and write.”
• 3.) 1500- Girolamo Cardano was the first person to challenge
Aristotle’s view that Deaf could not understand because they
could not hear, he was also “the first physician to recognize the
ability of the Deaf to reason”
• 4.) 1521- Rudolf Agricola, a Dutch humanist, made known
his belief that understanding and speech are separate
functions, and that the Deaf are capable of understanding.
And that they could communicate through other mediums,
• 5.) “1550 - Pedro Ponce de Leon began teaching the Deaf.”
• 6.) 1755-1760 The First oral school for the deaf in
Germany was established by Samuel Heinicke (Although it
is a oral school, it is one step closer to acknowledging Deaf
• 7.) “1755 - Charles Michel Abbe de l’Epee established first free
school for the deaf in the world, The Royal Institution of Deaf and
Mutes in Paris, France. L'Epee supported the school at his own
expense until his death. Later, the government began to support the
school. His successor was the Abbe Roch Concurrou Sicard (1742-
1822). It was Sicard who brought Laurent Clerc and Jean Massieu to
London where they met Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.”
• (This is a large step forward in recognizing and practicing Deaf
• 8.) 1760 - Thomas Braidwood founded the first British Academy for
the deaf in England
• 9.) 1815 – Thomas H. Gallaudet went to Europe to learn more about
how to teach the deaf.
• 10.) 1816- Laurent Clerc returned to the United States of America
with Thomas H. Gallaudet
• 11.) 1817- American School for the Deaf was founded by Laurent
Clerc, Mason Cogswell, and Thomas H. Gallaudet, in Hartford
Conneticut. (It was originally called the Connecticut Asylum for the
Education and Instruction of Deaf
• 12.) 1818 - The NY Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and
Dumb was founded.
• 13.) 1823 - Kentucky School for the Deaf opened in Danville. First
school supported by state.
• 14.) 1829 - Ohio School for the Deaf opened in Columbus.
• 15.) From 1830 on, schools were opening left and right for the
education of the Deaf people.