Deaf History Month: March 13-April 15
Posted on Mar 04, 2013
The Connecticut disability lawyers at Keefe Disability Law and The National Association of the Deaf urge both hearing and non-hearing Americans to celebrate Deaf History Month from March 13 to April 15. While these dates don’t coincide with a calendar month, they represent important events in American deaf history. These dates include:
- March 31, 1988: Gallaudet University hires its first deaf president.
- April 8, 1864: President Lincoln signed the charter establishing Gallaudet University as a national college for the deaf.
- April 15, 1817: The American School for the Deaf, the first public school for the deaf, was established in Hartford, CT.
These significant events provided new opportunities for the deaf and hearing-impaired in the United States.
Deaf History Month originated on March 13, 1997, when the Washington D.C. public library sponsored a month-long deaf history event in which deaf authors and guest speakers were invited to speak to the public. Over the past 16 years, the event has grown. In 2006, librarian Alice Hagemeyer petitioned the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf to recognize Deaf History Month. She remarked that the ASL sign for public library is “hearing library” and that libraries and other public institutions need to do a better job of reaching out to the hearing impaired.
Deaf history is now celebrated in communities across the country. The American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf are petitioning the White House and Congressional leaders to declare Deaf History Month an official national event.