Deaf Education History: Milan 1880

In September 1880, Abbé Guilo Tarra (1832–1889) convened an International Convention in Milan, Italy. Tarra was a strong supporter of oralism, as were most of the delegates to the Convention. Of the 164 delegates, 87 were from Italy and 56 were from France. There were only 5 delegates from the United States, the country with the largest system of schools for the Deaf. Despite long traditions of sign language education in France and Italy, all the French and Italian attendees supported the main resolution to ban sign languages from schools:

The Convention, considering the incontestable superiority of speech over signs, (a) for restoring deaf-mutes to social life, and (b) for giving them great facility of language, declares that the method of articulation should have the preference ...

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