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Deaf People: Laurent Clerc


Tanya Zaricor


Laurent Clerc

            Laurent Clerc was born in La Balme France in 1786. When he was thirty he was a teacher at the royal institution for the Deaf, in Paris where he was a Deaf scholar and graduate. Laurent Clerc met Gallaudet in England in 1815 and decided to go with him to the United States to teach Deaf students. Together they opened the Asylum at Harteford in April of 1817 (Crouch &Van Cleve, 1989, p. 37).

 Laurent was the first Deaf teacher teaching Deaf students in the United States. Further more he was the first advocator for sign language instruction instead of oral instruction for the education of Deaf students. He also worked for the rights of people and the right for Deaf people to marry as well as stressing the importance of Deaf education and Culture (Famous Americans, 2007, paragraph 1).

 Laurent Clerc thought that Sign Language was equal to other spoken languages and that Deafness was a minority Culture. Laurent Clerc is known for being the first teacher of the Deaf in the United States and one of the founders of the school that would later be the only Deaf University in the United States, Gallaudet University (Famous Americans, 2007, paragraph 2).



American Foundation for the Blind.  (2007) “Helen Keller Biography”, [Online]. Available: (May 3, 2007).

Crouch, Barry A. &  SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Van Cleve, John V. (1989). A Place of Their Own: Creating the Deaf Community in America. Washington, D.C. Gallaudet University Press.

Foster, Ray. (2001). “Laurent Clerc”,  [Online]. Available: (May, 3 2007).

HKSB: Biography of Helen Keller, [Online]. Available: (April 19, 2007).

IMDB. (1990-2007). “Biography of Marlee Matlin”. [Online]. Available: (May 31, 2007).

Marlee Matlin “Biography & Filmography”, [Online]. Available: (May 10, 2007).


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