Deaf Culture Awareness

gallaudet sculpture

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, American pioneer in the education of the Deaf, and his first Deaf pupil. Source: Library of Congress.

The library is honoring National Deaf History Month with displays and events. Deaf History Month celebrates Deaf culture and strives to build greater understanding of Deaf culture, history, civil rights, contributions, and achievements.

It’s interesting to consider that education for Deaf Americans was hard to find for many years, and hard fought for, as well.

    On April 15, 1817, the first permanent school for Deaf students, now known as the American School for the Deaf, was founded.

    On April 8, 1864, a charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln authorizing the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution (later named Gallaudet University) to grant college degrees to students who were deaf.

    On March 13, 1988, the first Deaf president of Gallaudet University, a school for people who are Deaf, was selected. This was considered to be a victory for the students and Deaf community because in its 124 year history, the institution had never selected a Deaf president until Dr. Irving King Jordan was named that year.

See the American Deaf Culture Historical Timeline to learn more important dates in Deaf history.