Society for American Sign Language Journal

Document Type



This article1 is one of several sesquicentennial projects undertaken by staff of the OSD-SJW Archives to commemorate the 150th anniversary (1870–2020) of the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf (SJW) in Belleville, Ontario. Initially known as the Ontario Institution for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (OIDD), it opened on Thursday, October 20, 1870. This article includes a condensed history of the life of John Barrett McGann, an Irish-born immigrant to Canada in 1855, and his founding of schools for deaf children in Toronto (1858), Hamilton (1864), and Belleville (1870), taken from a forthcoming book by the first author of this article.



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