The history of deaf people and their culture make up deaf history. The Deaf culture is a culture that is centered on sign language and relationships among one another. Unlike other cultures the Deaf culture is not associated with any native land as it is a global culture. By some, deafness may be viewed as a disability, but the Deaf world sees itself as a language minority. Throughout the years many accomplishments have been achieved by deaf people. To name the most famous, Ludwig van Beethoven and Thomas Alva Edison were both deaf and contributed great works to culture.

Deaf people who know Sign Language are proud of their history. In the United States, they recount the story of Laurent Clerc, a Deaf educator, and Thomas H. Gallaudet, an American educator, coming to the United States from France in 1816 to help found the first permanent school for deaf children in the country. In the late 1850s there was a debate about whether or not to create a separate deaf state in the west. The idea was based on the event when the American Congress, at that time, gave part of Alabama to the American Asylum. This deaf state would be a place where all deaf people could migrate, if chosen to, and prosper, however, this plan failed and the whole debate died.

Another well-known event is the 1880 Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf in Milan, Italy, where hearing educators voted to embrace oral education and remove sign language from the classroom. This effort resulted in strong opposition within Deaf cultures today to the oralist method of teaching deaf children to speak and lip read with limited or no use of sign language in the classroom. The method is intended to make it easier for deaf children to integrate into hearing communities, but there have been many arguments about whether the manual method (where the teachers teach Sign Language as the main way to communicate) or the Oral method (where the Teachers make the student learn to speak) are better. Most people now agree that the Manual Method is the preferred method of Deaf communication. The use of sign language is central to the Deaf peoples as a cultural identity and attempts to limit its use are viewed as an attack.

Deaf History - Wikipedia

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