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Oct 6, 2022
National Deaf Life Museum
History Through Deaf Eyes
Formation of a Community
Family ties: Deaf children away at school get creative for writing to parents
Many deaf children went away to schools before they could read and write, so parents had to be creative to communicate with their sons and daughters. Drawings and images cut from magazines helped parents send their affection and pass along news of home.
Students also used drawings and photos to share family life with school friends and school activities with family.
This father has come to bring his son home for Christmas. For some deaf children at schools, holidays were a rare chance to see their families, who might live hundreds of miles away.
Gallaudet University Archives c. 1947-1949
Courtesy of Jack R. Gannon
CLARKE School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education – letter c. 1924
Pictures and Drawings helped students understand notes from home and feel a part of family events. At most schools, children were assigned a regular time during class every week to write a letter home.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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