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Awareness, Access and Change
The civil rights movement of the 1960s inspired many minority groups to press for greater self-determination and economic opportunity. Marches, sit-ins, and protests became tools for change and increased awareness.
As many Americans came to accept greater cultural diversity, deaf people began to explore more openly their cultural-linguistic identity and assert their right to access information. Interpreting services, captioning and telephone access were among the accommodations stressed.
New technologies, in medicine as well as communications, have changed the experience of being deaf and the ways deaf individuals communicate with each other and people everywhere.
Linguists, who had previously ignored the sign languages of the world, began to demonstrate that they were natural languages equally capable of communicating abstract thought, emotion, and complex information as spoken languages. The result was that American Sign Language, American Sign Language (ASL), was recognized...
Captioning of television and movies changed deaf life. Since 1958, deaf people have gathered in clubrooms or schools to see films, often captioned as a program of the U.S. Department of Education. As closed captioning became more available, deaf people could watch films at home,...
The NAD has always and continues to support and endorse innovative educational programming for deaf children, implanted or not. Such programming should actively support the auditory and speech skills of children in a dynamic and interactive visual environment that utilizes sign language and English. -...
The Information Age of the late twentieth century has witnessed an explosion of new technologies and services that have profoundly influenced the lives of deaf people. Teletype machines called "TTY" or "TDDs," developed in the 1960s, made it possible for deaf people to call anyone...
"If deaf persons are not considered good enough to run the university then what's the point of having a university for deaf people?" ~ Dr. Allen Sussman Gallaudet faculty member When Gallaudet University began searching for a new president, qualified deaf applicants were encouraged to...
"When we were moved from the Black school on Madison Street to the Arkansas School campus, the white house mother didn't know how to take care of Black hair, she made us shampoo every day and my hair went back!" ~ Lynda Carter, Student at...
Before the founding of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf in 1964, sign language interpreting was primarily a volunteer effort. Parents, children, co-workers, and clergy helped as they could to convey information. Rarely did deaf people and the hearing people with whom they are...
In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act-Public Law 94-142-entitled children with disabilities to an appropriate education in the "least restrictive environment." This was generally interpreted to mean "inclusion" in local public schools. While some deaf students flourished, others felt isolated and frustrated. Few...
For decades, telephones were a technology and a convenience that separated deaf people from the rest of society. On the job, for example, many deaf people were denied promotions when positions required the use of a phone. In 1964, Robert Weitbrecht, a deaf electronic scientist,...
"This is the emancipation proclamation for disabled Americans." ~ Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa "The National Association of the Deaf, working with key disability advocacy organizations, was instrumental in pushing for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990." ~ Nancy J. Bloch, Executive...
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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