History

 

French Sign Language (FSL) was brought to the United States in 1816 by Thomas Gallaudet, founder of the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn. He developed American Sign Language (ASL), a language of gestures and hand symbols that express words and concepts.

 
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George Veditz

was a former president of National Association of the Deaf of the United States and was one of the first to film American Sign Language.

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Martha's Vineyard

In the 19th century, a "triangle" of village sign languages developed in New England: one in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; one in Henniker, New Hampshire, and one in Sandy River Valley, Maine.[14] Martha's Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL), which was particularly important for the history of ASL, was used mainly in Chilmark, Massachusetts. Due to intermarriage in the original community of English settlers of the 1690s, and the recessive nature of genetic deafness, Chilmark had a high 4% rate of genetic deafness. MVSL was used even by hearing residents whenever a deaf person was present