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Deaf History Month


Updated June 10, 2014

What Is Deaf History Month:

Deaf History Month covers the period of March 13 to April 15. It celebrates deaf history, particularly key events in deaf heritage.

Key Historic Events:

Three key events occurred during deaf history month:
  • March 13 - 1988 Deaf President Now movement succeeds. King Jordan becomes president of Gallaudet University.
  • April 8 - Gallaudet University 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.
  • April 15 - American School for the Deaf, the first public school for deaf, opens in 1817.

Promoting Deaf History Month:

Alice Hagemeyer, founder of Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action(FOLDA), now the Library Friends Section of NAD, actively promotes Deaf History Month annually. During this month, libraries are encouraged to have deaf awareness activities.

Start of Deaf History Month:

Deaf History Month appears to have had its genesis March 13, 1997, when the D.C. Public Library had a Deaf History Month event with deaf authors and guest speakers. The popularity of Deaf History Month grew over time, and there is currently an effort under way by the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf to get the White House to declare it an official national event.

Deaf History Month Miscellaneous:

Deaf History Month odds and ends:
  • Postcards.org has an e-card supporting deaf history month.
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  6. Deaf History Month Celebrating Milestones in Deaf History

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