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Gary Malkowski - Deaf Elected Politician

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Updated August 14, 2010

Who Is Gary Malkowski:

One deaf man who was deaf prior to taking office has been elected to a public office. That man is Gary Malkowski, who was a member of the provincial parliament (MPP) in Canada. Malkwski had attended the E.C. Drury School for the Deaf in Canada, where he learned ASL informally. At the time, the E.C. Drury School was an oral school; today the school supports ASL. Malkwoski attended Gallaudet University, graduating in the early 1980s. Malkowski holds a BA in social work and psychology, and an MA in rehabilitation counseling, both from Gallaudet University.

Gary Malkowksi Before Politics:

Malkowski worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS). He also chaired the Ontario Association of the Deaf's Education Task Force Committe, which led to his involvement in politics. Malkowski had been actively working to try to get a failed bill to recognize ASL as a language of instruction, passed. When Malkowksi's MPP resigned, a hearing ally who was also an MPP, encouraged Malkowski to run for the office. So Malkowski set about campaigning as a candidate from the New Democratic Party of Ontario, with the help of interpreters. He won, and took office in September 1990.

Gary Malkwoski in Provincial Parliament:

Malkowski served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from September 6, 1990 to April 28, 1995. While in the Legislature, Malkowski served as a Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education and Training in addition to other committees on government, justice, citizenship, and social development. One of his key accomplishments was the introduction of a bill for the Ontarians with Disabilities Act in 1994, and in 2005, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed.

Malkowski After Politics:

After his term ended, Malkowski worked with the Canadian Hearing Society as Advisor to the President, Public Affairs. He has been recognized for his historic role in deaf history, receiving the Gallaudet University Outstanding Young Alumnus Award in 1991. Malkowski has been the subject of the unpublished book by Richard Medugno, "Deaf Politician: The Gary Malkowski Story." However, Medugno did publish Bigger Dreams: A Two Act Play About Deaf Politician Gary Malkowski. YouTube also has a captioned video about Gary Malkowski.

Sources:

Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Sign of the Times: Gary Malkowski in Profile - Reprint of article originally appearing in Abilities, Issue 7, p. 16, Spring 1991.

Email from Gary Malkowski June 2008.

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