Home Featured News A history of educating the hard of hearing

A history of educating the hard of hearing

by Jan Schroder

When Ebenezer Cheseboro relocated to Wisconsin in 1839, there was no school for his deaf daughter, Ariadna – so he hired Wealthy Hawes to teach her and a neighbor at their home on Janesville Road. Within two years, his “school” had eight pupils and required public funding to remain open.

In 1852, after Cheseboro’s friend Franklin K. Phoenix donated a dozen acres of land, the Wisconsin School for the Deaf opened in nearby Delavan. 

It remains there today, dedicated to meeting the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children in a unique bilingual-bicultural environment of both American Sign Language and English education.

– Hannah Van Sickle, The Wisconsin 100

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The Wisconsin 100