Who We Are
News & Stories
Sep 26, 2023
Sep 25, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
October 4, 2023
October 5, 2023
University Wide Events
No Communication Compromises
Areas of Study
Changing the world
Community & Innovation
Research Experiences & Services
Our Global Presence
Global at Home
Global Learning For All
Your Journey Starts Here
Explore Our Campus
The decision that sparked Deaf President Now
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The “Chip Bill”, Closed Captioning, and what they did for the Deaf community
Options in Education for the “least restrictive environment”
Invention of the cochlear implant fans flames of debate on both sides
Interpreting: Working our way through sporadic access to interpreting as a profession
How TTYs made telephones accessible to the Deaf
Desegregated Schools: Deaf students of color make the best of their new surroundings
Communications access: A boom in access for the hearing impaired
National Deaf Life Museum
History Through Deaf Eyes
Awareness, Access and Change
American Sign Language, a language recognized
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 as the foundation of a visually oriented Deaf community.
Forty Years after the language gained academic recognition, schools have accepted sign language in the classroom; public events commonly include sign language interpreters; television and movie producers cast deaf actors; publishers welcome scholarly and popular books and articles on signing and Deaf Culture; students flock to sign language courses; and schools employ more deaf teachers, principals, and superintendents. For some deaf people, the most dramatic change is new pride in using their language in public.
In 1960 William Stokoe’s Grammar of Sign Language challenged widely held perceptions about the visual language used by the Deaf community. Scientists welcomed the book’s evidence of a new and unstudied language, but many educators of deaf students continued to denounce it and all sign language research. It would take 20 more years before Stokoe’s work would reverse common misunderstandings about ASL.
Gallaudet University Archives
In 1965, A Dictionary of American Sign Language described signs of the language and led others to study deaf people’s sign language around the world. Symbols were used to identify placement, handshape, and movement of signs.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Copyright © 2023 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.
800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002