Epée, Charles Michel, Abbé de l' (shärl mēshĕlˈ äbāˈ də lāpāˈ) [key], 1712–89, French pioneer teacher of deaf-mutes. A Jansenist priest, he developed a manual system of communication for deaf-mutes and founded a school for their instruction in 1755. In 1776 he published a treatise on his educational method, which he later (1784) expanded as La Véritable Manière d'instruire les sourds et muets [the right way to teach deaf-mutes]. His dictionary of manual signs was completed after his death by Abbé Sicard, and in 1791 his school was taken over by the Institution nationale des Sourds-Muets à Paris.
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