This film is part of Free

Education of the Deaf

A brisk look at the tests and education practices for deaf people in 1940s

Documentary 1946 51 mins Not rated



From repetitive 'medical' tests, using both live and recorded sounds, to deaf schools which actively discouraged students to use sign language. This film focuses on the use of hearing aides, teaching people to lip-read, and lessons in communicating verbally.

Though this film asserts that children are encouraged to lip-read and no force is used to deter them from signing, there are accounts of how children at schools similar to these were punished for using sign language. In the 1940s sign language was passed on unofficially within the deaf community. It wasn't until the 1970's that schools started to recognise British Sign Language (BSL) and use it in the classroom. In 2003 BSL was formally recognised as a language in its own right by the UK government.