Michigan School for the Deaf

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Michigan School for the Deaf

Imagine your life in a mute state. You can't hear and you can't talk. What if you grew up around people that were just like you? Would you feel more comfortable with how you are? Or would you still feel out of place? I bet you'd feel a lot more comfortable at a place where they are people just like you. What if the state you lived in might have to take your only place of feeling normal away from you? Would you try anything in your power to keep it around? Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD) is a school for deaf children. MSD has been located in Flint, Michigan since 1848. Through the years the school has faced many challenges such as: funding, maintenance, up keep of advancing technology and enrollment. The single most important issue is funding without funding there would be no residential school for the deaf children and the would be forced to be mainstreamed into public school. I propose that parents should be told about Michigan School for the Deaf.

Driving down Miller Road in Flint, Michigan and you are probably wondering what the old buildings standing there are for and what came about to how the school Michigan School for the Deaf became about? I will help you better understand. MSD was started in 1848, but it did not start out as MSD. Heck, they didn't even know what they were going to call it or where it was going to be located, they just knew the deaf and blind needed a school to go to as well as “normal” students. A State Legislature Governor Ransom, who just so happened to be the governor at the time, wanted to give the idea of having a joint school for the deaf and dumb and blind. A guy by the name of E.H. Thomson proposed a bill to establish an institution called Michigan Asylum for Educating the deaf and dumb and blind. The bill was later enacted into a law and signed April 3rd, 1848. It took a good 28 years to get a school started. In the 1820's a state sponsored school was proposed to be established in Detroit, Michigan but it was never materialized. A few students who were blind were taught in a preparatory school at the University of Michigan located in Romeo, Michigan during the 1840's. Children in the 1840's were not educated in programs, Michigan did not send deaf and blind students to schools like many other states were practicing. Villages of Flint, Romeo, and Kalamazoo extended offers of donations of land, cash, and building materials. In November 1849, the board selected the proposed site for the hospital for the insane and the also the proposed for the school. The hospital was to be located in Kalamazoo and the school was in Flint. The funding law was passed in 1848, but because of financial difficulties the school did not start until 1854. In the year of 1851 the board voiced the idea to joint the deaf and blind because having a separate school was out of the question. They proposed the idea of having of having erected class rooms suitable and separate for the deaf and blind. Students who could afford the school financially, were the suitable age, and had the strength would board in the Village of Flint, the students who couldn't afford were accommodated under the charge of the Principle. The month of November in 1853 the board offered Reverend Barnabas Maynard Fay the position of Principle. Fay had previous experience as a teacher at Indiana Institution for the Blind and the Institution for Deaf and Dumb in New York. January 1854, Fay was appointed and the school was to open February 1, 1854 in Flint. February 6, 1854 the first student was enrolled, April 18, 1854 it was reported they had 12 students, 11 deaf mute and one blind. Thirteen years later an act was passed to change the name of Michigan Asylum to Michigan Institution for Educating the Dead and Dumb and the Blind. In 1879, the blind were separated the school for the blind from the school for the deaf. In 1887 Michigan School for the Deaf was given, not sure what year Michigan School for the Blind was...
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