Deaf History Month, observed nationwide every year from March 13 through April 15, celebrates Deaf history and, in particular, contributions made by Deaf community and the Hard of Hearing to American culture and society.
According to verywell.com, Deaf History Month, by design, spans three key events impacting the Deaf community that occurred in American history:
April 15, 1817 – The first public school for Deaf opened and was called the American School for the Deaf.
April 8, 1864 – Gallaudet University was founded. President Lincoln signed the charter in 1864 establishing a college for the deaf. This event is known as Gallaudet Charter Day and is usually marked with a luncheon and awards program at Gallaudet University.
March 1, 1988 – Leading up to 1988, all of the past Presidents at Gallaudet University were hearing people. There was an organized rally/protest on March 1st, 1988 that allowed Deaf/hard of hearing individuals to utilize their rights by joining the movement hoping it would end with a Deaf President at the University. There was negativity and oppression stating “Deaf people cannot function and make decisions like hearing people,” when there were, at that time, hundreds of Deaf individuals holding a masters/ Ph.D./doctorate, etc.
March 13, 1988 – Marking the end of the protest, and a huge milestone in Deaf history, Dr. I. King Jordan became President of Gallaudet University. As the first Deaf President of the university, Dr. I King Jordan served until December 2008.
The purpose of Deaf History Month is to increase public awareness of Deaf issues, people, and culture. Activities and events throughout Deaf Awareness Month encourage individuals to come together as a community for both educational events and celebrations.
At LTC, we celebrate the rich culture and heritage that is unique to Deaf people around the world, as well as here in America. As an agency, we strive to promote the rights of Deaf people through providing quality interpreting services and training our clients on how to work with Deaf patient or customers.
In our professional work and our recognition of the many achievements of Deaf people over the last few centuries, it is LTC’s honor to celebrate and support Deaf History Month!
We will continue to post blogs and updates as the month unfolds, and we hope you will continue celebrating with us!
Written by Alec Mandla