This is a photo with some local folks at the School for Deaf and Dumb in Belleville- Faded writing makes me want to research this photo so all is not lost. May 1888–Deaf and Dumb
“Mother’s Uncle Mr. David Watson and students from the Deaf and Dumb School in Belleville”
Deaf and Dumb
“Deaf and dumb” (or even just “dumb”, when applied to deaf people who do not speak) is an archaic term that is considered offensive.
Many Deaf people do not use a spoken language, thus they are technically “mute”. The word “dumb” has at least an archaic meaning that means “mute”. Of course, the word “dumb” also has another more common meaning now that implies stupidity, which is certainly not applicable to most Deaf people.
Given the long history of deafness, and the fact that Deaf people have been incorrectly assumed to be mentally deficient just because they do not speak, you can imagine that most Deaf people do not appreciate being called “Deaf and Dumb”.
Today, anyone using the word “dumb” in such context is …. well … dumb.
The Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf was founded in 1870 in Belleville, Ontario, known then as The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. It was renamed in 1913 as the Ontario School for the Deaf. It has been known as the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf since 1974.
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 27 Dec 1930, Sat, Page 26
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 24 Sep 1903, Thu, Page 8
Clipped from The Ottawa Journal, 24 Oct 1933, Tue, Page 18
George Ackermann taught art at the Brockville Deaf and Dumb Institute (he was probably deaf and dumb himself) and painted most attractive na’ive topographical water-colours. One is of a local militia rally near Brockville in 1869, with relatives and lady friends picnicing along the roadside in a holiday mood; others show
Ackermann, George, 1816/7 – after 1860, active 1866-77, (McKendry; Harper; Folk Artists; Painters in a New Land;
——Coverdale Collection of Canadiana; Biographical Index of Artists in Canada)
Ackermann, George, Court House and Jail on Court House Square, Brockville,
Ontario, watercolour on paper, circa 1870, 34.7 x 52.1 cm, National Archives
of Canada, Ottawa, C 40351.