Celebrating 200 Years of American Sign Language

Every year on April 15, we get to celebrate the anniversary of ASL—and this year marks the language’s momentous bicentennial.

Exactly 200 years ago on April 15, 1817, the American School for the Deaf opened its doors in Hartford, Connecticut. This school is officially recognized as the birthplace of ASL and was also the first ever permanent school for deaf children to open in North America. It’s been a great 200 years, and the school is still going strong.

To learn more about the historical significance of this bicentennial, check out this great video all about Thomas Gallaudet and his journey of creating the American School for the Deaf:

If you’re interested in attending the official bicentennial event, ASLTA is happening in San Diego, California, April 15 (Saturday) from 6:00 to 11:00 pm. Special Deaf guest Ella Mae Lentz will be attending, and there will be a live auction and many other events. You can buy tickets at asltasocal.com/asl200, and all proceeds will go to the ASLTA National Conference in 2019.

Want to see more awesome content in your inbox? Subscribe to our quarterly ASL newsletter, The Shroom. You might also like our next article: What Keeps ASL Students Coming Back.

 

Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid via Wikimedia Commons. Video by Gallaudet University.

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