Areas of Study

MSS 129

Washington Metropolitan Deaf Alliance, est. 1978-1986

Collection of Washington Metropolitan Deaf Alliance, 1978-1986

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary
Repository: Gallaudet University Archives
Call No.: MSS 129
Creator: Title: Collection of Washington Metropolitan Deaf Alliance, 1978-1986.
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet (1 document box)
Note: This document last updated 2006 January 11.

Administrative Information
Acquisition Information:
Processed by: Octavian Robinson. 2004 October 18.
Processing Note:
Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives

  • Manuscripts
    • Collection, Washington Metropolitan Deaf Alliance, 1979-1980. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: MSS 130
  • SMSS
    • Nancy Abbott Papers, 1979-1980. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS

Historical Sketch
The Washington Metropolitan Deaf Alliance (WMDA) was founded in 1978 as an alliance to promote and maintain the welfare of deaf citizens in the Washington Metropolitan area. They functioned as a lobbying organization, keeping in touch with local, state, and national elected representatives. They promoted several bills for telecommunications access, closed-captioning, legislative access, and housing services. The Alliance aimed to become the liaison between the various Deaf associations and organizations in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia to represent the deaf citizens of the Washington Metropolitan area. Voting membership was limited to member organizations, and individuals were limited to associate membership. The WMDA was dissolved in 1986 due to lack of interest and support originating in 1980. With increased accessibility for the deaf in telecommunications, the legislative process, and in closed-captioning, there was little need for WMDA and its services. The remaining funds, $1,200, in their treasury were split amongst various deaf organizations.

Scope and Content
The collection contains meeting agendas, newspaper clippings, correspondence, financial reports, meeting minutes of the board and general meetings, memorandums, officer’s reports, objectives, press releases, and newsletters. The collection dates from 1978 to 1985, with the bulk of the papers dating from 1978 to 1982. The collection has numerous gaps due to the organization’s periodic inactivity. The bulk of the collection is correspondence regarding various bills for the deaf community and the dissolution of the WMDA. The correspondence includes letters to Senator Barbara Mikulski and other legislators. The collection contains 26 folders in one box and is arranged by subject matter. The information is useful for research concerning deaf people’s accessibility and rights in Washington, DC, during the late 1970s.

Series Descriptions and Folder Lists
No Series

Box Folder Title of Folder Date
1 01 Agendas 1978-1979
1 02 Clippings 1978-1979
1 03 Congressional Directories n.d.
1 04 By Laws 1979
1 05 Correspondence: Dissolution 1983-1984
1 06 Correspondence: General 1978-1982
1 07 Correspondence: HR 3657 (Mikulski Bill) 1979-1980
1 08 Correspondence: Housing Referral Service for the Deaf 1979
1 09 Correspondence: Mental Health Services for the Deaf 1980
1 10 Correspondence: Metro Safety 1980
1 11 Correspondence: Telecommunications Access 1978-1982
1 12 Correspondence: Television Accessibility 1980-1983
1 13 Correspondence: Visit to Annapolis House (Delegates) 1979-1980
1 14 Correspondence: WMDA Board 1980-1981
1 15 Financial Records 1980-1985
1 16 Flyers and Pamphlets 1979,
1 17 Forms and Letterheads n.d.
1 18 Meeting Minutes: General 1979-1984
1 19 Meeting Minutes: Board 1979-1980
1 20 Member and Officer Directory 1979
1 21 Memorandums 1979-1981
1 22 Miscellaneous 1978-1983
1 23 Newsletters 1980-1981
1 24 Objectives FY 1979-1980 1979-1980
1 25 Officer’s Reports 1979-1980
1 26 Press Releases 1980
2 01 Officer’s Manual 1980
2 02 Organization Proposals n.d.
3 Objects include: leather bound binder, seal dossier, and membership certificates

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