Deaf History Month - DEDI's letter
From Alexander Leffers on March 15th, 2021
March 12, 2021
CELEBRATING DEAF HERITAGE MONTH
As you know, Deaf Heritage Month will begin on March 15 and end on April 15 this year. It is a period for us Deaf people all over the United States to celebrate the history, accomplishments and potential of the Deaf communities of this country. Deaf Heritage Month includes three key events in American Deaf history:
• On March 13, 1988 – the Deaf President Now (DPN) Movement met with success as Dr. I. King Jordan became Gallaudet University’s first Deaf President.
• April 8, 1864 – Gallaudet University was founded, as President Abraham Lincoln signed the charter which established Gallaudet College. This historical event is known as Charter Day. • April 15, 1817 - American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut, the first permanent public school for the deaf, opened.
And while these dates and events stand out in Deaf American History, there have been many other memorable dates and events in Deaf History in terms of human accomplishments, advances in knowledge in the arts, sciences, and technology, and breakthroughs in toppling the artificial barriers set by difference. A few include the recognition of ASL as a bona fide language, the groundbreaking studies on Black ASL, the Miller versus DC Board of Education suit which integrated Kendall School, advances in the fields of Deaf K-12 education, the activism which resulted in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the advent of closed captioning, the TTY, VP/VRS, and so many others.
The Division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in collaboration with the Department of Deaf Studies, the Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center and the Center for Black Deaf Studies is putting together a series of events during this period to celebrate our heritage. Please be on the lookout for announcements and a schedule.
I invite you to join all members of the Gallaudet community on what will be an illuminating, educative and transformational walk.
Elizabeth A. Moore, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Diversity Officer