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Abbe de I'Epee 300th birthday

25 November 2012

This weekend will be marking the 300th birthday of Abbé Charles-Michel de l’Épée to whom millions of deaf people around the world owe a great deal of thanks. Abbé de l’Épée (25th November 1712 to 23rd December 1789) is regarded by the World Federation of the Deaf as the Father of Deaf Education.

Abbé de l’Épée dedicated his life to helping others, and in a chance encounter met two young deaf sisters who communicated with each other in signs. From this experience, he became involved in the education of deaf students and formed a school in 1760 for this purpose in Paris, France. Just as important was his willingness to allow others to learn from his methods so as to spread the benefits of teaching deaf people through sign language in other countries.
Abbé de l’Épée began a revolution in educating deaf students, and this revolution continues to be fought today. The BDA is one of many that advocates for the use of sign bilingualism in educating deaf students to learn both languages (BSL and read/write English), as part of its mission to preserve, protect, and promote the linguistic rights of all deaf individuals in the United Kingdom.
Happy birthday, Abbé de l’Épée!
To see the transcript of the video, please click here