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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty Authors Resolution Designating Deaf History Month

Mar 13, 2019
Press Release

Congresswoman Beatty Authors Resolution Designating Deaf History Month

WASHINGTON, D.C.— On the first day of National Deaf History Month, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) introduced a resolution to recognize March 13th through April 15th as “National Deaf History Month.” The dates coincide with the installment of the first deaf president at Gallaudet University, America’s first university for the deaf on March 13, 1988, and the opening of the first school for the deaf in the United States on April 15, 1817.

With support from the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the American Library Association (ALA), Beatty’s resolution specifically: (1) supports the goals and ideals of National Deaf History Month; (2) recognizes the many contributions that deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened and DeafBlind individuals, including those with additional disabilities, have made to the United States; and (3) encourages Americans of all backgrounds to observe and actively participate in National Deaf History Month through a variety of programs and activities.

“More than 11 million Americans are deaf or hard-of-hearing,” Beatty said. “In Congress, I have the privilege of representing a large Deaf community, and I know firsthand the important impact Deaf culture has had on our society.” Beatty continued, “In that spirit, I am honored to lead the effort in Congress to officially acknowledge the richness of the Deaf community and to recognize the many contributions deaf Americans have made to our nation.” 

“The National Association of the Deaf appreciates this long-awaited official proclamation of National Deaf History Month, and thanks all those who worked diligently for this important recognition of the historical contributions of deaf and hard of hearing people in this country,” NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum said.

“The American Library Association applauds Representative Beatty’s resolution to officially recognize National Deaf History Month,” ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo said. “Equitable access to information is a core value of all librarians who develop their collections with particular attention to the needs of persons with disabilities, including those who are deaf. The seeds for observing a Deaf History Month were first planted decades ago in the District of Columbia Public Library, and it is with pleasure that ALA endorses Representative Beatty’s efforts to highlight and honor the many contributions of the deaf community to American society.”

First celebrated in 1997 at the behest of the National Association of the Deaf, National Deaf History Month began as a week-long awareness campaign celebrated at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC.

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