The School for the Deaf at the Alabama Institute is organized around a theory of total communication i.e. the use of signs and finger spelling in conjunction with speech, hearing aids, lip reading, gestures and the written word. The film shows sequences dealing with various aspects of this comprehensive training such as teaching students and parents to sign; speech therapy; psychological counseling; regular academic courses; vocational training; disciplinary problems; parents visits; sports and recreational activity; training in living and working independently; and developing skills in home and money management.
Not only does Wiseman present an empathetic picture of the disabled students and loving staff, but he makes his way into organizational meetings, the parental decision making process all the facets of the lives of the disabled, as they find an increasing role in today’s society.
–Arthur Unger, The Christian Science Monitor
Some of the teachers are deaf themselves, and their earnest professional devotion obviously draws on reservoirs of personal experience.
–Robert Coles, The New Republic
If a time capsule were prepared today for opening in a couple of hundred years, ‘DEAF’ and ‘BLIND’ would be an ideal choice for inclusion. There’s no doubt that a society is reflected in its institutions. The Alabama Institute catches us at our most caring and compassionate moments.
–John J. O'Connor, The New York Times
Never a word of narration, never a voice telling us what we are seeing, guiding our reactions, advising us how to feel. We are on our own… The reward is a new awareness not only of the blind and deaf, but of those who work with them.
–Michael Keman, The Washington Post
Educationalincludes public performance rights
released 1986, 164 minutes
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