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1988- Deaf President Now!

Page history last edited by kristen 11 years, 6 months ago

During March of 1988 the students, faculity and even staff closed down Galludet University for one week. In the 124 year history of the School, a school created to be the first and best college for the deaf in the world, their had never been a Deaf president in charge. In 1988 the seventh President was picked and to the shock of all people at Galludet the Board of Trustees had picked Elisabeth A. Zinser, a hearing women who did not even know American Sign Language. Quickly the community assembled and acted, they locked all entrences and closed the campus which alerted the media. Soon the nation became aware to the protest at Galludet and the crowdes grew daily with support both within and outside the deaf community. The protester had 4 objectives; first have the new president, Elisabeth A. Zinser, resign, second have Jane Spilman the Chairman of the Board of Trustees resign, third 51% of the members of the Board of Trustees must be deaf, and fourth no displenary action would be made toward any one taking part in the protst.  The Protest gained so much support that Congress threatened to reduce the university's federal budget unless the protesters were heard. At the end of the week the protest was over and all the objectives were achieved. Dr. I. King Jordan became the first deaf president of Galludet University on March 13, 1988.

 

Reference:

Galludet University: Deaf President Now, Ten Year Anniversary. http://pr.gallaudet.edu/dpn/index3.html Retrieved June 20, 2008

Brueggemann, Brenda Jo. "The Coming Out of Deaf Culture and American Sign Language: an Exploration Into Visual Rhetoric and Literacy." Rhetoric Review 13 (1995): 409-420.

 

 -Ann Bertrand

 

 

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