Abbé Charles-Michel de l’Épée is known to be the founder of the first public school for the deaf.
Google on Saturday honoured Abbé Charles-Michel de l’Épée, also known as the "Father of the Deaf", on his 306th birth anniversary with a colourful doodle.
l’Épée is known to be the founder of the first public school for the deaf. The French educator, who was born in Versailles in 1712 to an architect father, dedicated his life to the development of the lives of people with impaired hearing. He completed his education in Theology and Law before devoting himself to the service of the needy.
It all began with him teaching two deaf sisters living in the slums of Paris, who communicated using their own sign language. He then found the Institution Nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris, a school for the hearing impaired in 1760. The school was open to all regardless of their ability to pay.
l’Épée then went ahead to develop a visual method that became the primer for the teaching of the deaf, hence breaking the notion that hearing impairment could be a hindrance to their education.
"Every deaf-mute sent to us already has a language. He is thoroughly in the habit of using it, and understands others who do. With it he expresses his needs, desires, doubts, pains, and so on, and makes no mistakes when others express themselves likewise,” he wrote.
l’Épée was honoured as "Benefactor of Humanity" by the French National Assembly for his extensive work in the filed. He passed away in 1789.
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