1. Deafness and Deaf people are as old as humanity itself but the earliest
recorded history of the communication and education of deaf people was
in the 16th century. Deaf children of very rich parents in Spain were
placed under the care of a monk to be taught how to speak. Speech was
required in order to acquire wealth.
2. This marked the beginning of the oral
vs. Sign Language controversy, which raged on for centuries.
3. The oral method involves teaching or communicating
with Deaf people through the medium of spoken language (speech). This
method was highly developed in Germany and became known as the "German
4. The use of Sign Language was highly developed
and used in schools for the Deaf in France, hence the name "French
5. In 1880 there was an attempt to eradicate
Sign Language from the face of the earth. A conference in Milan (Italy)
which was attended by hearing teachers and educationalists but which excluded
Deaf people, passed a resolution which banned the use of Sign Language
in schools of the Deaf.
6. Sign Language became an underground language.
Deaf children used Sign Language outside the classroom situation and so
it remained a living and natural language.
7. In 1960 a scientific research report on
American Sign Language (ASL) showed that Sign Language was a natural human
language with its own grammar, independent of any spoken language. Sign
Languages could be analyzed at any of the same levels used for spoken
languages in terms of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics
and discourse analysis.
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8. In the 1970s, Simultaneous Communication
(Simcom) or Total Communication (TC) was developed. This is a system adapted
by the oralists in an attempt to represent English visually. Sim-com/TC
involves signing and speaking at the same time. Remember English or any
spoken language has its own grammar, as does Sign Language. When you use
both languages at the same time, you violate the grammar of both languages.
9. The 1980s saw the advent of the bilingual-bicultural
approach. According to this approach Deaf people use Language and written/read/spoken
language e.g. English, Zulu, Afrikaans, etc. It acknowledges that Deaf
people live in two cultures, the one being the majority (hearing) and
the other being their own culture namely Deaf Culture. Hearing people
who come into contact and interact with Deaf people, e.g. parents, siblings,
teachers and society in general also learn to function in two cultures.
10. And in 2003 SignGenius developed the evolutionary Sign Language Software to assist people who wants to Learn Sign Language. It also shows to improve the spelling of Deaf People. SignGenius SASL, for the South African Sign Language, and Signgenius ASL, for the American Sign Language, are currently the most comprehensive Sign Language Software available. Why don't you download a free copy and check it out.
I got it downloaded! It is great! I will play around with the demo version and will most likely order it. I think I will be very happy with it. Is is a one time fee? Thanks so much! Marci***
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