Thomas Braidwood


Thomas Braidwood was a Scotsman who began a school for wealthy children in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1767 he changed his school’s purpose from teaching literacy to hearing children to teaching literacy to deaf children. His school, named Braidwood's Academy for the Deaf and Dumb was Britain’s first school for the deaf. Braidwood incorporated the two-handed alphabet, gestures and natural signs, and reading and writing. He taught speech by beginning with sounds and then building to syllables and words.

Following Thomas’s death his son, John Braidwood took up the practice, followed by John’s widow and another nephew, Joseph Watson.