Who invented Sign Language?

Who invented Sign Language?
Highlights

Deaf people generally cannot talk because they never heard spoken words! It is a condition which can be remedied. In fact, nearly all deaf children with normal intelligence can learn to talk if they are given special instruction.

For thousands of years, deaf-mutes were treated as if they were dangerous to society. In many countries they were dangerous to society. In many countries they were regarded as idiots and were locked up in asylums. In the sixteenth century Jerome Cardan, an Italian doctor believed that deaf-mutes could be taught by using written characters. In the seventeenth century, a finger alphabet was developed which was similar to the finger alphabet in use today. It took another hundred years, however, before the first public school for deaf-mutes was established at Leipzig, Germany. Today, almost every country has institutions for educating its deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Deaf people generally cannot talk because they never heard spoken words! It is a condition which can be remedied. In fact, nearly all deaf children with normal intelligence can learn to talk if they are given special instruction.

Up to about seventy-five years ago, the deaf were taught to communicate ideas almost entirely by means of signs, facial expression and the finger alphabet. With the hand alphabet, some deaf-mutes can spell out words at the rate of 130 a minute! The sign language has special symbols. For example, the forefinger rubbed across the lips mans “you are not telling me the truth”. A tap on the chin with three fingers means, ‘My uncle’.

Today, the deaf are even taught to speak themselves. They learn to speak by watching and feeling the lips and vocal organs of the teacher and then imitating them.

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