Tag Archives: deaf and dumb

Mrs. J. C. Sutherland Deaf Blind Teacher — Women Of Lanark County

Mrs. J. C. Sutherland Deaf Blind Teacher — Women Of Lanark County
 “Say ‘Mum.” is what 12-year-old Estelle “hears” by”-gently touching her fingers to the lips and vocal chords of Mrs. J. C. Sutherland who took her and Marilyn, also 12, into the Sutherlands’ Almonte home. Both girls are deaf and blind, but by the touch process Estelle can be given simple instructions. She now speaks a few words, believed to be the first time in Canada a deaf-blind person has been taught to speak. Second picture shows Estelle and Marilyn combining games with training to develop co-ordination and touch. Estelle uses a peg hoard while Marilyn correctly arranges a graduating pyramid. There are few deaf-blind children In Canada and even -fewer facilities for training them. . Third picture catches Estelle keeping trim while Winter weather confines the girls to inside play. Estelle uses a combination swing-trapeze hung in the doorway of her bedroom in the comfortable Sutherland home. Fourth picture brings another member of the Sutherland family into the daily routine., Eleven-year-old Patsy Sutherland, who lends a helping hand in training the girls, gives Estelle her supper while Marllyn-who can feed herself waits her, turn. The Sutherland family Is made up of father’and two children, ensuring a rounded home life for Estelle and Marilyn.

The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
29 Jan 1949, Sat  •  Page 19
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
14 Sep 1963, Sat  •  Page 17


Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888

To Be Deaf in Former Years

Carleton Place Blind Woman Saved Four Seniors

Unknown Blind Civil Rights Leader in Carleton Place — Ken London

Did Blind Tom Play in Carleton Place?

Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888

Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888



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”

Dr. Clifton F. Carbin emailed and said this:
The top photo under the heading “Belleville School for Deaf and Dumb 1888” was NOT taken in Belleville, Ontario. In fact, it was taken in 1888 at the Washington School for Defective Youth in Vancouver, Washington (later renamed Washington State School for the Deaf), The couple on the far right were identified as James Watson (school director) and his wife, Cecilia (nee McGann) Watson (school matron and teacher).

Mr. Watson was born on May 5, 1840 in Almonte, Lanark County, Ontario. He taught at the Ontario Institution for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (now the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf) in Belleville from 1870 to 1887, and was the director of the Washington School for Defective Youth in Vancouver, Washington from 1887 to 1906. He died in Salem, Oregon, on November 15, 1920
I would like to have a direct communication with the person who owns the photo and/or any of the Watson relatives.
I forgot to mention that the couple on the far right in the photo was cropped and not visible. I have a scanned copy of the full photo.
Thank you,
Dr. Clifton F. Carbin
Author, Deaf Heritage in Canada (1996)

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.

Image result for deaf and dumb belleville

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.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sat, Nov 17, 1906 – Page 19

 - Marvelous Pro Is BthglhAt Boss Welfare...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  27 Dec 1930, Sat,  Page 26



 - DEAF AND DUMB PUPILS, Belleville. Ont. Sent 24....

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  24 Sep 1903, Thu,  Page 8

 - j Work of School For Deaf Shown In pro- cere-a...

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.

To Be Deaf in Former Years



In my research I have found out that people who could not speak or hear were considered to be on a lower level from those that could in past years. In fact, in all the newspaper archives, including the Ottawa Journal, had postings in the local newspaper when a child or person went to The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb.

The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb was first called The Deaf and Dumb Asylum. In those days people that were deaf were also considered to be dumb. How horrible to be singled out and labeled. The pull of the asylum and the workhouse was strong, but many thousands of people with disabilities tried to stay in their small rural communities like Carleton Place. Can you imagine the loneliness and isolation experienced by a deaf child?

The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb was named after for the former premier of Ontario, James Whitney. The school was renamed three times: The Ontario Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb (1870–1912),  The Ontario School for the Deaf (1913–1973) and The Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf (since 1974).

During the Second World War, the Ontario School for the Deaf building was used by the Royal Canadian Air Force for No. 5 Initial Training School (5 ITS), as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. A commemorative plaque is dedicated to the 6,664 graduates of 5 ITS; especially those who gave their lives in the air force service to their country in the Second World War.


The Ontario Heritage Trust erected a plaque for the ‘Ontario School for the Deaf’ on the grounds of the school that reads:

“The first provincial school for deaf children, this residential institution combined elementary school subjects with vocational training when it opened in 1870. Over the years, ever-increasing enrollment has promoted the steady expansion of the school’s facilities and curricula”.

Perth Courier, March 14, 1890

The following pupils from the County of Lanark are in attendance at the institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Belleville:  Maud Culligan, of Appleton; A. Gardner of Watson’s Corners; A. Lockhart of Almonte; William Thackaberry of Carleton Place.


Perth Courier, May 8, 1885


From the Annual Report of the Ontario Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, Belleville, issued by Mr. R. Matheson, we learn that the following pupils from the late unified counties were attending the institute on September last:

Lanark County:  Levi Brian, Carleton Place; Alfred P. Lockhart, Blakeney; Peter J. Malone, Almonte.

Renfrew County:  Charles F. Mellents (?) and Alfred F. Fraser, Pembroke; Janet Micks, Micksburg; Janet Ronnell (or Russell), Renfrew

Gertrude McPhee of Brandon, Man.(?).

Read the Perth Courier at Archives Lanark