Date: Tue Jun 27, 2000 1:58
SignWriting List Forum
Subject: Re: Milan meeting 1880
At 2:02 AM -0700 6/27/00, Ingvild Roald wrote:
>In 1880 an internation meeting of educators of the deaf was held in
>Milan, Italy. It was not a meeting with representation, but anyone
>interesetd could attend. A few deaf teachers of deaf students
>attended, and so did a number of society ladies from Milan who had
>contributed to the cause. Because of a skewed representation, and
>the fact that the arcbishop (?) of Milan who was presiding this
>event was anti-manual, a strong recomendation from this meeting was
>that all education of deaf students all over the world should be
>based on the 'oral'.....
>You can read more about this in any textbook on the history of deaf
>culture and deaf education. I would recommend the books by Harlan
>Lane, especially "When the Mind Hears".
>Hopefully this would clarify things a bit?
June 27, 2000
Hello Everyone, and Ingvild!
Thank you for the excellent explanation of the Milan meeting of 1880.
I am sure Dr. Harlan Lane's book will give more detail - but I
appreciate knowing about the story.
It is a little depressing in a way, since before that time so much
progress had been made because of the great Deaf Frenchman abbé
L'Éppé. His work was carried on by educators who had trained with
him, such as Gallaudet in the USA and Castberg in Denmark, but his
own countrymen in France, retreated to oralism...strange how new
ideas are accepted in foreign countries faster than in the
But the positive side is that abbé L'Éppé's work does live on...and I
guess it doesn't matter where it came from, just as long as someone
And this is true with SignWriting too. The writing system began in
Denmark. And then your work in Norway, Ingvild, spread the writing
further. The Parkhursts in Spain, Stefan Woehrmann in Germany, the
Kegls in Nicaragua and other research projects in the UK, Ireland,
Switzerland and Flanders are examples of how other countries are
ahead of the US in its acceptance of SignWriting....
But it is getting better...I understand from Judy Kegl that she is
presenting some SignWriting at the University of Southern Maine now,
as a part of linguistic studies - Thanks, Judy!
And thanks for your input, Ingvild!
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