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From:  Ingvild Roald
Date:  Tue Jun 27, 2000  9:02 am
Subject:  Milan meeting 1880

>From: Valerie Sutton
>Reply-To: SignWriting List
>To: SignWriting List
>Subject: Re: Article about Cued Speech
>Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 06:33:50 -0700
>At 2:12 AM -0700 6/26/00, Ingvild Roald wrote:
Of course. Stupid of me to think this was common knowledge:

When deaf education started for real about 1800, there were several
'schools' or theories of thought about how this should be done. The main
proponent of the manual system, based on signs found among the deaf
youngsters and augmented by 'extras' to give information about the different
grammatical parts belongign to the spoken language of the country, was that
of abbé L'Éppé i Paris, which was the wisited by Gallaudet before he founded
his school in the USA. Other educators adhered to the 'oral' method, partly
in England, where Alexander Graham Bells father set up a school. The British
tended to patent their instructional methods, with the result that these
methods were not widespread. I Leibnitz, Germany, another 'oralist' method
was invented, and this method had a clear impact both on European and on
American deaf education.

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' or 'German' method, and concentrate on giving the
students access to the spoken and written language of the country. This
recomendation was taken seriously by a lot of geverenements and other
governing bodies, and resulted in the sacking of a lot of deaf teachers and
deaf staff. It had a devastating effect on deaf culture, and also on the
academic results of deaf students around the 'civilized' world.

You can read more about this in any textbook on the history of deaf culture
and deaf education. I would recoment the books by Harlan Lane, especially
"When the Mind Hears".

Hopefully this would clarify things a bit?


>>Regarding Cued Speech, it has not been much in use here in Norway.

>>But when
>>Norway switched to 'the German Method' after the infamous Milan meeting
>>than a hundred years ago, that method contained some handshapes to follow
>>the speech and facilitate the lipreading....
>Hi Ingvild -
>Could you give us a short background on the infamous Milan meeting?
>I suspect most SW list members have never heard of it - at least I haven't!
>Val ;-)

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