Residential Schools, Segregation in

The education of White deaf children started in 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut. The education of Black Deaf children did not begin until approximately 50 years later. Geographical and social factors played an important role in the formation of the Black Deaf schools and consequently in the development of a separate variety of American Sign Language (ASL). The geographic factors include the isolation of one community from another created by geographic and political boundaries (where people live—or are allowed to live). Schools for Black Deaf children were often physically isolated. Separate schools, as well as so-called colored departments of White schools, were established in southern and border states. Sometimes, the colored department was on the same campus as the White school (as in Kansas and ...

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