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Deaf History: Oceania

  • By: Syed Feroj Ahmed
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Deaf people have a long-standing history in the Oceania region, which includes Australia, New Zealand, and Polynesia. Although little is known about Polynesian Deaf history, in Australia and New Zealand, Deaf histories are well documented.


In Australia, the information regarding the deaf, including their social emancipation through the establishment of Deaf schools and institutions, can be traced back as early as 1800. The first school for the Deaf was opened in Australia by Frederick John Rose at his rented home in Victoria in 1860. In the same year, the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children was established by Thomas Pattison from Scotland. Subsequently, in 1866, F. J. Rose opened the Windsor Stamey Victorian Deaf and Dumb institution so that the growing educational aspirations of an ...

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