Signing of the Gallaudet University charter designed by ASL Manga

Signing of the Gallaudet University charter designed by ASL Manga (www.facebook.com/aslmanga)

At FIS we’re keen to celebrate the community we love! March 13 – April 15 is Deaf History Month. In 2006, the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf officially announced National Deaf History Month.

This celebration starts on March 13th because of the Deaf President Now movement, when Gallaudet University stakeholders succeeded in bringing on board the University’s first deaf president. The last day of the month-long celebration, April 15th, is the date that the first school for the deaf in the United States opened. In 1817, the American School for the Deaf (ASD) opened its doors to pupils in Hartford, Connecticut. ASD was the first permanent school for the deaf in the Western Hemisphere.

Other notable moments include the April 8, 1864 signing of the Gallaudet University charter by President Abraham Lincoln. At the time, the college was named the National College for the Deaf and Dumb. To this day, the Gallaudet community still celebrates Charter Day on April 8th, with a program and luncheon

In 2006, the National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month 2004-2006 met and developed the “Celebrate Deaf Legacy: National Deaf History Month Kit.” This kit can be added to your local library through Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA). Learn more at folda.net/lib/index.html!