"It is a lamentable
fact that, in matters relating to the deaf, their education and
well-being, few if any take the trouble to get the opinion of the very
people most concerned-the deaf themselves."
-John H. Keiser,
Gallaudet class of 1905
"If you try to
suppress signs you will teach deceit, for the deaf will always use it
on the sly."
Gallaudet Class of 1889
"From the standpoint
of totally deaf person, proficient in speech and lip-reading, and with
forty years' experience in the art, I can only say that lip-reading at
its best is matter of skillful guess work, and a sorry mess we sometime
make of it."
-Anson R. Spear
Gallaudet Class of 1884
"Nature hates force.
Just as the flowing stream seeks the easier path, so the mind seeks the
way of least resistance. The sign-language offers to the deaf a broad
and smooth avenue for the inflow and outflow of thought, and there is
no other avenue for them like unto it."
George M. Teegarden
Gallaudet Class of 1876
Organizations of deaf
people, such as the National Association of the Deaf, formed in 1880,
rose to the defense of sign language. Calling signing the "natural
language of the deaf", they argued that oral communication alone was
inadequate for many deaf people.