Education of deaf children at the turn of the 21st century
Compared with other fields of educational endeavor, the education of deaf children has a very long history indeed. It is generally agreed that the first public school for children with different learning needs was a school for deaf students-established in Paris by the Abbedel'Epee in 1755 (Moores, 2001). Even before the establishment of that school, however, the field of deaf education had generated serious academic interest and inquiry and sustained professional debate. The level of scholarship and inquiry in the field of education of deaf children is evidenced by the fact that it has one of the world's oldest professional journals in any area of education. The Ameriean Annals of the Deaf was established in 1847 and, except for a few years around the time of the American Civil War, has been published continually since that time. Similarly, the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (rCED) is almost certainly the world's oldest continuously convened educational conference. Since 1878, the ICED has had a seminal influence on the nature of educational opportunities for deaf people across the world-although not without controversy. Indeed, the best-known and most-cited congress was that of 1880, in Milan, where a resolution of the vast majority of participants proclaimed "the superiority of speech over signs" and that "the oral method ought to be preferred" (Moores, 2001, p. 81). That congress played a pivotal role in ensuring a period of dominance of such methods in deaf education, which lasted until at least the 19608 in many countries. Nineteen lCEDs have been convened so far-12 in Europe, 4 in North America, 1 in Asia, 1 in the Middle East, and 1 in Australia. The first ICED was held in Paris, France, in 1878, and they were held irregularly up until the 13th congress in Groningen, The Netherlands, in 1950. Since 1970, the ICED has been held every five years. xi xii Greg Leigh and Des Power The 1933 congress in Trenton, New Jersey, was the first to offer a program on the model that has become the standard for the ICED, with 790 participants attending presentations and discussions on areas such as curriculum and teaching approaches in literacy, speech, and communication skill development (Brill, 1984). In the same manner, the 2000 ICED in Sydney brought together 1,067 practitioners, researchers, and, importantly, consumers of educational services from 46 countries to address an extremely wide selection of topics. As in previous congresses, the presentations were organized into topical areas 01" strands. In Sydney, the strands included inclusion of deaf students in regular educational environments, literacy, audiology, auditory development and listening programs, hearing aids, programming for children with cochlear implants, signed communication in education, bilingual education , early intervention (including the rapidly emerging area of newborn hearing screening), education in developing countries, deaf students with multiple disabilities, and deaf students in postschool education.
Educating deaf students: Global perspectives