Areas of Study


To enhance the future of the deaf community, we must preserve its past. The National Deaf Life Museum serves as a beacon of progress and hope for deaf culture.

Founded by the late Jane Norman, Ph.D., a treasured Gallaudet University colleague, the museum serves to:

  • Create public programming that reaches our campus, surrounding neighborhoods, diverse Washington, D.C. constituencies, as well as national and international audiences.
  • Advocate for the open exchange of ideas about what it means to be deaf vs hearing with the local, national, and international communities.
  • Provide national leadership in the presentation of deaf history and contemporary life of the deaf community.
  • Host historical, linguistic, and cultural scholarship that serves the University and its visitors as a resource on deaf life and artistic expression.

Plan Your Visit!


The National Deaf Life Museum offers credit-earning internships to students in a variety of majors. Have your academic advisor contact Museum staff for more information.


Volunteer opportunities are available for students, alumni, and interested community members. Contact museum staff for more information about training as a docent and scheduling volunteer hours.

Class Visits

Students are always welcome in the museum, and we offer educational opportunities for professors who wish to bring their class as a group to learn about Gallaudet history and other programs the museum offers.

Classroom Lectures

Instructors wishing to have a guest speaker on the subjects of museum studies, exhibition design and writing, Gallaudet history, Deaf culture, and related topics are welcome to contact museum staff.

While we have developed plans for future exhibitions, the committee is always interested in suggestions. To impart your vision for an exhibition or new ways of reaching communities, please


Be a Friend of the Museum
We welcome and appreciate your support for the National Deaf Life Museum at Gallaudet University.


Andrew J. Foster Exhibit
Andrew Jackson Foster was the first Black Deaf student to graduate from Gallaudet University after the Jim Crow era.
Deaf Difference + Space Survival
In the early 1960s a joint research project hosted by the U.S. Department of the Navy and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sought out deaf men from Gallaudet College (now University) to participate in experiments on balance, motion sickness, and weightlessness.
Deaf HERstory Exhibit
The Deaf HERstory exhibit by the National Deaf Life Museum was located at the Museum Annex - Weyerhaeuser Family Gallery area at the lower level at the Student Academic Center from the summer of 2015 until March 3, 2017.
Deaf Peace Corps Exhibit
The National Deaf Life Museum opened Making a Difference: Deaf Peace Corps Volunteers in the Weyerhaeuser Family Gallery and Exhibition Hall of the I. King Jordan Student Academic Center on Tuesday, October 25, 2010.
Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond Exhibit
The National Deaf Life Museum at Gallaudet University (formerly Gallaudet University Museum) opened its permanent exhibition, Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond.
History Through Deaf Eyes
Gallaudet University created the "Deaf Eyes" project to bring deaf history to the public and expand understanding of U.S. history. Read now to watch the documentary film and visit the project website.
Language, Culture, Communities
This exhibit was on loan from the American School for the Deaf and the Connecticut Historical Society from January 29 to April 6, 2018, in the Linda K. Jordan Gallery at the Washburn Art Building. It was accessible in ASL, Spanish, and Braille.
Olof Hanson Exhibit
The National Deaf Life Museum's first exhibition, Olof Hanson, Conspicuous Leader (1862-1933), opened on October 22, 2009 and closed on October 1, 2011.
The Life of Robert Panara Exhibit
The Gallaudet University Museum presents "The Life of Robert Panara, '45 & H-86" exhibit. This exhibit is on loan from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute of the Deaf, in collaboration with the Gallaudet University Archives.
Then & Now Exhibit
Our Then and Now exhibition compares Gallaudet's past and present over its 150-year history.
We Are Equal Exhibit
We Are Equal examines the ways in which Deaf Americans positioned themselves on an equal playing field to hearing Americans.


Celebrating 150 Years!
In September 2013, Gallaudet University began a 15-month long celebration of its 150th anniversary. Many events, presentations, and creative works were sponsored that highlighted the rich and diverse history of the university, including a Charter Day Festival and Symposium in April 2014 and, in July 2014, a Gallaudet Reunion extravaganza!
The National Deaf Life Museum presents both permanent and rotating exhibitions to the GU community and the greater public in the DC area. Through artifacts and innovative storytelling, we inform and inspire visitors to learn more about the Deaf community, its heritage, culture, and language.

Meet the Team


Meredith Peruzzi

Museum Coordinator


Trevor De Rosch

Museum and Archives Preservation Specialist

Shane Dundas

Museum and Library Integrated Marketing Specialist


Contact Us

National Deaf Life Museum

Meredith Peruzzi

Chapel Hall

(202) 250-2235

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