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That there were deaf persons in the remote past is evident from the fact that the causes of deafness, such as disease, were as prevalent then as now.
Before the Christian Era, their condition was deplorable.
They become dumb because, being deprived of hearing, they are unable to imitate the sounds which constitute speech.
To correct the error involved in the term dumb , it is customary to speak of human beings who do not hear and speak as deaf-mutes, a term which implies that they are silent, but not necessarily incapable of speaking.
After His example, the Church has extended its charity to this afflicted class, and has led the way in opening up for them other channels of thought in place of the hearing faculty.
Moreover, they are deprived of the usual Sunday instructions and sermons.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.As regards intellectual development, the deaf individual is the most handicapped of the afflicted class.He first taught his pupils to write the names of objects and then to articulate.A contemporary writer, Francesco Valles, says that Ponce de Leon's method proved that, although we learn first to speak and then to write, the reverse order answers the same purpose for the deaf.