Ashley TranMrs. WillisAmerican Sign Language 36 January 2018Oral vs. Manual Deaf education America’s Deaf and hard-of-hearing is a community unified and proud of their heritages. Most wouldn’t accept a cure even when given the opportunity to. Sign language has always been a big part of this culture, being the current native form of communication used amongst Deaf people. It however, was combated when Oralism was made popularized near the eighteen-seventies by Alexander Graham Bell, who started publicly promoting it’s usage over signing. This Oralism method has been considered a way made to “fix” people born with hearing deformities, founded on ideals of combining and “normalizing” how the Deaf conversed with others. Supporters believed the Deaf must learn spoken language in order to fully function in the hearing society. Everything was seen in only the perspective that’d help benefit those in the hearing community instead of those actually deaf themselves. Without the exposure to the those in part of the Deaf community, a division and ignorance was created between oralist advocates and sign language. During the eighteen-sixties, a movement gained momentum that began to make American deaf schools exclusively oral. These methods spread throughout to schools for the Deaf across the United States. In 1867, two of the largest deaf schools started educating their deaf students in using only oral methods and encouraged all the other deaf schools to do the same. Deaf teachers in these schools were even being fired and replaced with hearing adults to further separate the children from any other forms than those using speech therapy. Oralism was taking over, and majority of people who supported the spread of this method at the time also promoted completely banning all sign languages or any kind of gestural communication from schools and limiting students to speech and lipreading. Alexander Graham Bell was someone who was a very influential person at the time, and used his fame and wealth from the telephone to prescribe his beliefs. He thought that deafness was a horrible curse that caused suffrage. Bell suggested preemptive measures that he thought would deflect the children’s hereditary deafness. That, including endorsing the acts removing sign language from the residential schools. Deaf students secretly used sign with one another, and because of this, the idea of sign language didn’t completely die out. It was continually passed on. Most Deaf schools eventually disassembled, realizing that not all students benefited from learning speech or lipreading. This shift in the late nineteenth-century allowed the Deaf community leaders to protect the foundations of sign language use. With this, a new problematic issue risen between the two communities, debating over whether manualism or oralism was the best method for teaching the next generation of Deaf children. The hearing people still stuck to thinking oralism was superior while the Deaf community pushed for manualism, which focused mainly on using hands in communicating language. The manual method is considered the natural way for deaf children learn to communicate. Furthermore, it encourages a sense of pride in being Deaf, them being to take part in Deaf culture from birth. Though, for a child to purely only be able to communicate through signing also comes with its complications. They would never be able to participate in a conversation with a hearing person, without the aid of an interpreter, basically reducing their involvements from experiencing the hearing world. Both sides have their own disadvantages and advantages. The combined method for educating and communicating for Deaf or hard-of-hearing would give them the chance to take part in both worlds. The goal of this method is to incorporate lip-reading, speech, and sign language so that a child can communicate effectively in almost any setting. In the end, it is up to the child on what they want to use for communication.