As regards intellectual development, the deaf individual is the most handicapped of the afflicted class.The term "deaf and dumb", so frequently applied to that class of individuals who neither hear nor speak, is becoming obsolete among the educators of the deaf, as it implies a radical defect in both the auditory and the vocal organism.The Deaf and Dumb Institution was founded in Sydney in 1860 by Thomas Pattison, a deaf migrant from Scotland, to provide education to deaf children.
It then moved to Castlereagh Street and was officially declared a public institution on 1 October 1861.
It moved to larger premises on Old South Head Road in 1868.
Such children are generally found to be more or less idiotic.
On account of the great progress made, especially during the last century, in the education of deaf-mutes, by which a large percentage are taught to speak, the term mute is also omitted when speaking of matters pertaining to that class formerly designated as "deaf and dumb".
Persons who are born deaf, or who lose their hearing at a very early age, are unable to speak, although their vocal organs may be unimpaired.
They become dumb because, being deprived of hearing, they are unable to imitate the sounds which constitute speech.
'The Deaf and Dumb Institution', The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 October 1863, 'N. 29-31, 'History', in Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, 2012,
Education essentially includes the process of encouraging, strengthening, and guiding the faculties, whether of mind or body, so as to make them fit and ready instruments for the work they have to do; and, where the need exists, it must include, moreover, the awakening for the first time into activity and usefulness of some faculty which, but for the awakening, might remain forever dormant.
Children were taught writing and arithmetic, and prayer.
The Herald commented on the benefits of this education: It has been observed that the pupils gradually assume a more cheerful and happy aspect, as the intellect expands and new ideas break in upon the hitherto darkened mind, and generally after a residence of about six months they begin to write, and communicate their new and wondering ideas on paper, and then their progress in the acquirement of knowledge is particularly observable; the original stupid look which characterises the untaught deaf and dumb vanishes, and thus the great remove, which so long separated them from their fellows, disappears, and they begin to enjoy the blessings of civilised life. Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind', Australian Town and Country Journal, 7 January 1899, pp.