Brief history of sign language

Deaf Culture has evolved into a social system of communication, beliefs, behaviors, values, literary traditions, and sign language.Today, deafness is a celebration of a different sensory universe, but it has not always been like this. Deaf history is full of differing viewpoints and critical ideas written not by those who actually experienced it — much of deaf history was written by the hearing.

In the beginning, ancient Greeks denied education to the deaf. Aristotle, a well-known philosopher from ancient Greece, said that people could not be taught without the ability to hear, that they were unable to learn. Under Roman law people who were born deaf were denied the right to sign a will as they were presumed to understand nothing. Early Christians offered a similar, yet different, viewpoint. They said that a child was born deaf as punishment for their parents’ sins.

Education of deaf people is connected to a French catholic priest Abbe de L’epee who is considered as the father of deaf for establishing 20 schools for deaf children. Nowadays, sign language is recognized around the world. Currently, around the world exists 200 sign languages and a lot of countries have its own national sign language. Deaf culture can include total communication, which involves making use of any means to effectively communicate. This can involve sign language, lip-reading, writing, facial expressions, computers, and any other technology that allows access to information and communication.

To sum up , deaf culture is much more than just sign languge as a mean of communication. It is a culture with its own traditions and values.

Tamuna Bichiashvili

Watch what it’s like for deaf people to read lips.


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