A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KCDHH urges celebration of deaf community’s contributions, history during Deaf History Month

The Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) urges Kentuckians to celebrate National Deaf History Month, March 13-April 15, by recognizing deaf champions and increasing awareness of the deaf community’s contributions and rich history.

Kentucky has deaf champions like Gerry Gordon-Brown, an African-American woman with a profound hearing loss who marched in Frankfort with Dr. Martin Luther King while she was a student at Kentucky State College in 1964. She has been a life-long advocate for minorities, including people with disabilities, and was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights’ Hall of Fame in 2007. She currently serves as a commissioner with the KCDHH.

“We’re proud to have leaders working tirelessly in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act and civil rights, and we are equally proud of all individuals who have helped advance the cause of equal rights for the deaf and hard of hearing,” said Virginia L. Moore, KCDHH executive director. “KCDHH encourages all Kentuckians to reach out to their communities and learn more about people who are leaders in the deaf and hard of hearing community.”

Deaf History Month spotlights the following three iconic events in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community that happened from March 13 – April 15:

• March 13, 1988: victory of the Deaf President Now movement when students at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the nation’s only liberal arts college for deaf students, staged a protest demanding a deaf president for the university

April 8, 1864: signing of the Gallaudet University charter by President Abraham Lincoln

April 15, 1817: establishment of American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, as the first permanent public school for the deaf.

Each of these events represents significant advancements for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the United States. The establishment of the American School for the Deaf was the beginning of a long, proud tradition of schools for the deaf in this country, which continues to this day.

For more information on deaf culture and history, visit the KCDHH website, www.kcdhh.org.

From Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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