Talking on their fingers: a study of the Ontario deaf according to the 1891 Canadian Census




Wakefield, Christina L.

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This thesis examines the lives of the deaf in late nineteenth century Ontario through a statistical analysis of a dataset from the 1891 Canadian Census. I examine the characteristics of the deaf as compared to the hearing population of Ontario in terms of age, sex, marital status, occupation and geographical distribution. Though there are many statistical differences between the deaf and hearing populations, I am able to show how the availability of a formal education for the deaf in the form of the Ontario Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Belleville, Ont, had begun to minimize the effects of these differences. Education also allowed for the creation of a socially active Ontario deaf community, held together by the Ontario Deaf-Mute Association and the Ontario Mission for the Deaf.



Deaf, Ontario, 1891 Canadian Census, Dominion Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, Ontario Association for the Deaf