Show Notes: Deaf President Now

Tracy Wilson

A Gallaudet University demonstration at the U.S. Capitol on the 10-year anniversary of the Deaf President Now protest. Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Gallaudet University is a U.S. university for deaf and hard of hearing students, and for most of its history, it was run by people who could hear. That changed in 1988, after a student protest known as Deaf President Now. After the board of trustees announced that another hearing person had been named to the role of president, the student body - who had been campaigning for a deaf president for months with the support of everyone from senators to civil rights leaders - shut down the school. It was a landmark moment for deaf and hard of hearing people, and in the greater context of equal rights for people with disabilities.

Our listener mail is from Ashlyn, who writes about our Spanish Flu episode.

Episode link: Deaf President Now

For more knowledge: How Sign Language Works

My research:

  • Gallaudet University. "Deaf President Now."
  • Gallaudet University. "Mission & Vision Statements."
  • Gallaudet University: Fast Facts 2014:
  • Jordan, I King. "Deaf Community at a Crossroads." UNC Asheville.
  • Nightline Special Interview: Deaf President Now.
  • Stremlau, Tonya M. "Language Policy, Culture and Disability: ASL and English." Rhetoric Review: Representing Disability Rhetorically. 2003.
  • Thirty-eighth Congress of the United States. "An Act to Authorize the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind to Confer Degrees." U.S. National Archives.

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