Associate Professor, Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University
Presented in collaboration with Penn’s ASL Program
In 1988, the Gallaudet University community protested the hiring of a hearing person as the newly-appointed president of the prestigious institution, which had always been dedicated to providing a fully accessible linguistic environment for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Gallaudet hadn’t had a deaf president in its 124 year history and the politics of the protest and disability rights reverberated across the globe with front-page headlines and primetime news interviews. In the three and half decades since the Deaf President Now movement, deaf people continue to occupy a liminal space between the margins and the center of popular imagination as sign languages became vogue.