Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Julia Brace

Julia Brace was born on 13 June 1807 in Hartford County, Connecticut and died on 12 August, 1884 in Bloomfield, Connecticut at the age of 77. Julia Brace was buried in an unmarked grave in the West Hill Cemetery.

Julia Brace was born to a poor family, and became deafblind at the age of 5 from typhus fever. During her childhood she was described as independent, inquisitive and feisty. Although she wasn’t given much formal instruction, she did acquire tactile American Sign Language from the resident deaf students and staff at the Hartford school. Despite being the only blind person there, she became a part of the school community, forming friendships (and enmities). Julia Brace began to be seen as something of a celebrity and received many curious visitors over time.

Julia Brace gradually stopped speaking and developed a system of home sign that she used with her parents. Julia Brace was sent to a boarding school with hearing and sighted children before being offered a place at the Hartford Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (now called the American School for the Deaf), where she enrolled on 11 June 1825, 2 days before her 18th birthday.

During her childhood she was described as independent, inquisitive and feisty. Although she wasn’t given much formal instruction, she did acquire tactile American Sign Language from the resident deaf students and staff at the Hartford school. Despite being the only blind person there, she became a part of the school community, forming friendships (and enmities), fulfilling communal duties, and developing skills in sewing and knitting. Julia Brace began to be seen as something of a celebrity and received many curious visitors — although these regular interruptions to her daily activities apparently annoyed her and she wasn’t afraid, on occasion, to make her displeasure known.

Samuel Gridley Howe, educator from the Perkins School for the Blind, began instructing the 7 year old deafblind Laura Bridgman, after meeting Julia Brace during a visit to the Hartford school around 1837. After 4 years and much success with his young pupil, Samuel Gridley Howe returned to Hartford in 1841, bringing her with him. Although Julia Brace was 34 years old, Samuel Gridley Howe thought he would also like to attempt to instruct her in the English language as he had Bridgman. On 6 April, 1842 Julia Brace enrolled as a student of the Perkins School.

Samuel Gridley Howe’s ‘experiment’, however, proved less successful than he had hoped, as Julia Brace clearly preferred to communicate in sign language, and she returned to the Hartford school after a year, where she continued to board until 1860. Julia Brace left the school to take up residence with her sister in Bloomfield, Connecticut.

Keep visiting: www.lifechums.com more celebrities featuring shortly …………….

Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: