Deaf Culture, Education and Advocacy
National Deaf History Month

iStudent Blog

Published: April 14, 2022 by Guadalupe Martinez

Deaf Culture and Community

Recognized from March 13 through April 15, National Deaf History Month was initiated in 1997. The following timeline of landmark events have shaped Deaf culture, education and advocacy in throughout history and the growing connections to library and information science.

  • 1817: The first school for Deaf students opened its doors in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 1864: President Lincoln signed the charter for what is known today as Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.
  • 1988: Gallaudet University selected its first Deaf president.
  • 2006: The American Library Association partnered with NAD to support and spread awareness of Deaf History Month.

The National Association of the Deaf is the nation’s premiere civil rights organization of, by and for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by Deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American Deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. (source:

Mark your calendars for the NAD 56th Biennial NAD Conference in Orlando, Florida. Registration ends by May 31, 2022. Learn more via

SJSU iSchool commemorates this historic month with our upcoming free EDI Symposium, Deaf Culture and Community: Best Practices for Libraries,” featuring speakers and panelists involved in current research, direct services, and movements to advance the education and awareness of Deaf populations. Register and join us on April 21, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

Deaf History Month EDI SymposiumToday and every day we honor our students, faculty, staff, and their loved ones who identify as part of the Deaf community. We invite you to share your related experiences via words, photos, or videos with our iSchool community.

In alignment with the ALA Core Values of Librarianship, LIS professionals are emboldened to confront ableist practices that marginalize disabled communities from services and resources. In the spirit of lifelong learning, our libraries should reflect the diversity of our world.


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