As part of my research into what life would be like for Portia in Casebook 10 (wherein she loses her ability to hear and communicate verbally) I have been reading a lot about the time period and the medical community.
One of the most famous schools for the deaf was in Paris: “Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris (INJS) is the current name of the famous school for the Deaf founded by Charles-Michel de l’Épée in 1760 in Paris, France.” – Source: Wikipedia
In the 1930s sign-language had actually fallen out of favour with the medical and educational communities, with both pushing for lip-reading as the better way to communicate. This is called oralism vs manualism, and is a debate that continues today amongst the hearing and speech impaired.
For the purposes of Portia’s issues, I believe that learning a bit of lip-reading would be beneficial in the short and long-term. She’s going to fight it, but it will be good for her.