Abbe de L’Epee

by Anonymous

I have to say that Abbe de L’Epee is my favorite person from the history of sign language because he is a first timer. I know how hard it is to introduce something new to a group of people and it takes guts. Not many people would dare to go against the current. To believe that deaf people could communicate with a combination of hand signs, finger spelling and conventional gestures when everyone around him thought that they were stupid, unlearned and could not be taught, is amazing. He must have known that people would go against what he thought.

Abbe de L’Epee must have been a creative person, being that he developed a language that taught to first recognize, then learn the signs that were already being used by people in Paris, to this he added his own ideas. The result? A signed version of the French language. He made it easier for deaf people to have more of a standardized language of their own, one that would help bridge the gap between the hearing and non-hearing people.

I think that L’Epee was a very influential teacher in the deaf community. His teachings paved the way for a more standardized means of communication for the deaf. If L’Epee had not committed his life to wanting to help the deaf community learn a means of communication, today’s sign language would probably not be as we know it today. His creativeness and devotion was the basis for today’s American Sign Language.

Comments for Abbe de L’Epee

Jan 22, 2010

Yes 🙂

by: Michelle Jay – Webmaster


I think you’re absolutely right. I think L’Epee was very brave for going against the grain and starting something so beneficial for deaf people. I think you’re right about him being creative–that’s not something I’ve thought about, but it certainly makes sense. Thank you for sharing! 🙂


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