Thursday, March 12, 2009

Deaf History Month

The Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA) are promoting Deaf History Month which this year runs from March 13 to April 15. Alice L. Hagemeyer of FOLDA provided the following information about deaf history:
"Most American public libraries own or have access to books and videos related to American Sign Language, deaf culture and history. The public is also encouraged to look up information at the library or on the Internet about great American heroes, like Laurent Clerc (deaf) and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet (hearing). Also, many members of the deaf community remember deaf historical events, especially the following three: (1) Victory of the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University on March 13, 1988; (2) Charter signed on April 8, 1864 by President Lincoln, authorizing the board of directors of what is now Gallaudet University to grant college degree to deaf students; and (3) First permanent public school for deaf students in the Western Hemisphere, now known as American School for the Deaf, was co-founded on April 15, 1817 by Laurent Clerc, Thomas Gallaudet and Dr. Mason Fitch Cogswell. "
The special event envelope above celebrates the completion of the "Ole Jim" Restoration Project at Gallaudet University. It features the Library of Congress stamp that was issued in 1982. The postage stamp was issued by France in 2008 to commemorate library service to the deaf.

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