Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action  --
The Red Notebook

@ Your Library

Celebrate Deaf Legacy

Deaf America Reads

Celebrate Deaf Legacy:
National Deaf History Month Kit

Developed January 2006 by
National Association of the Deaf
Ad Hoc Committee on
National Deaf History Month 2004-2006

Alice L. Hagemeyer, Chair
Thomas Harrington
Joan Naturale
Abigail Noland
Gary E. Wait
Andrew J. Lange, NAD Liaison

Lisa Fisher, FOLDA Webmaster

Silver Spring, Maryland

Download this page as a PDF file (20 pages)

Greetings by Amy Bopp, President
Library Friends Section of the National Association of the Deaf

Introduction by Alice L. Hagemeyer,
      National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on
      National Deaf History Month

National Deaf History Month Resolution

National Association of the Deaf and Advocacy

American Library Association and Advocacy 

Program Planning Suggestions 


Library References

Glossary of Terms Related to the Deaf Identity


About the National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee

Laurent Clerc Profile
National Deaf History Month Theme Statement

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By Amy Bopp, President
Library Friends Section of the National Association of the Deaf
On behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and library friends in all parts of America, I want to congratulate you for using this KIT to help the local community celebrate deaf legacy at your library. By observing Deaf History Month, as well as any other appropriate annual events during the year, you will be reaching out to your diverse community increasing their awareness of the rich deaf history and of your various library resources that will benefit the public—hearing and deaf.  

The NAD Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month is to be applauded for a job well done in preparing this KIT.  This kit will help prepare the nation to support the U.S. President when he proclaims March 13 through April 15 as Deaf History Month, an occasion to celebrate the legacy and many contributions made by people who share the personal, familial or societal deaf experience.

This KIT will lead you to the many quality resources available that have shaped our legacy.
As a deaf person, I grew up spending much time at the library where books were friends and like many other people with hearing losses I was also isolated from my own legacy.
Were it not for the efforts of the public library, THE RED NOTEBOOK and
FOLDA, I would not have discovered my own roots in deaf history. I only wish such a resource would have been available to me and others many years ago.  We are fortunate to have this KIT available for this and future generations.
I am a teacher of American Sign Language, so I know how valuable this KIT will be not only for libraries, but for a wide range of members of the public who will readily be able to access our Deaf Legacy in libraries.

Ms. Hagemeyer and her FOLDA associates have always had a positive attitude about the ability of library resources to bring people together, deaf and hearing alike, to acknowledge the contributions previous generations have and continue to make.  This has increased our ability to communicate our legacy to the next generation. Having the KIT available in libraries everywhere will start the wave for all parts of the US to celebrate Deaf History Month from 2006 onwards.

Within the KIT you will find everything you need to celebrate Deaf Legacy. Beginning with introductions from major organizations, leading to the proclamation for Deaf History month to be established, making suggestions for program planning, providing many resources and moving on to a glossary of terms, a list of references, and a description of the work of the NAD Ad Hoc Committee, this KIT together will help us celebrate a legacy whose time has arrived.

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By Alice L. Hagemeyer, Chair
National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on
National Deaf History Month

 For a long time, the Friends of Libraries of Deaf Action (FOLDA) have been lobbying the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to have the president of the United States proclaim National Deaf History Month.
Many interest groups, such as African-Americans and women, already have had the U.S. president proclaim a particular day, week or month to recognize their rich history and contributions to America. The deaf community should have the same honor as those interest groups; we also have our rich history and also have made many valuable contributions to society for over 200 years.
Towards this end, at the 2004 ALA annual conference in Orlando, Florida, board members of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the ALA, voted to back the delegation at the 2004 NAD biennial conference in Kansas City, Missouri to have the U.S. president proclaim Deaf History Month, to be annually observed from March 13 to April 15.  Further efforts followed and a resolution on this was sent to the White House.
At this writing, we are still awaiting a reply by the president of the United States. In the meantime, we are going ahead with the KIT so that the nation’s libraries will be prepared for the president to proclaim the month. Each state’s governor, county executive or mayor is also encouraged to join with the nation to proclaim the month in 2006 if possible.  
Now, the NAD Ad Hoc Committee is very pleased to present the NATIONAL DEAF HISTORY MONTH KIT to the nation’s libraries. Although the KIT may not have all the answers, we hope that library personnel and their friends will benefit from the resources listed in the KIT as they work on a plan to fit in with their local needs.

The purpose of the National Deaf History Month theme statement included in this KIT is to encourage the nation’s libraries to use the following theme for observing National Deaf History Month and/or any other appropriate annual events

  Celebrate Deaf Literacy
 @ your library

 The official National Deaf History Month poster will be sponsored by the National Literary Society of the Deaf and will be unveiled on March 13, 2006.  

Ultimately, the National Deaf History Month KIT is a great start. 
Should you have further questions or comments about the KIT, please email them to  Thank you!

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The ALA Council voted this resolution unanimously on June 26, 2005 during its 2005 ALA Conference in Chicago 

WHEREAS, Approximately one in ten Americans is either born deaf or has acquired some forms of hearing loss due to accident, illness, noise, heredity, or aging; and
WHEREAS, although the term “deaf community” implies uniformity, it actually consists of diverse individuals with varying communication modes and backgrounds, both deaf and hearing, who share common characteristics of hearing loss and/or deaf culture; and
WHEREAS, the deaf community has been long unrecognized and misunderstood by most Americans; and

WHEREAS, numerous pioneers should be honored for their roles in transforming American culture, history, and politics as educators, artists, writers, inventors, informed citizens, and many other roles, as for example:
WHEREAS, for thirty years since the 1970s, the general public has been becoming more aware of the deaf community and sign language through television and theatre, ranging from:
WHEREAS, the heritage of the deaf community in America has been recognized in Deaf Heritage, the first history of the deaf community in America,  published in1981 by the National Association of the Deaf, and written by Jack R. Gannon, and American Sign Language has been acknowledged as a true language, and is taught throughout the United States, and

WHEREAS, libraries have been instrumental in promoting public awareness of American Sign Language, deaf culture, and the history of the deaf community, as for example:

WHEREAS, the month of March 13 – April 15 contains these important dates in American History:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Council of the American Library Association urges the President of the United States to declare National Deaf History Month, to be held annually March 13 – April 15 and to call upon public officials, educators, and librarians to celebrate with programs and activities to highlight and honor the many contributions of the deaf community to American society.

Moved by Cynthia Roach, ASCLA Councilor. 
Seconded by Ruth Nussbaum, Councilor At Large
Voted unanimously
ALA Council #52
June 26, 2005
2005 ALA Conference in Chicago

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Web Site:

The mission of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is to “promote, protect, and preserve the rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.”

Founded in 1880, NAD safeguards the civil rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. As a national federation of state association, organizational and corporate affiliates, the advocacy work of the NAD encompasses a broad spectrum of areas including, but not limited to, accessibility, education, employment, healthcare, mental health, rehabilitation, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. The NAD has a wealth of advocacy information and resources.

As a membership organization, the NAD welcomes individual and organization affiliation. The NAD has three special interest sections: Interpreters, Library Friends and Senior Citizens.  The NAD Library Friends Section goal is to promote library accessibility and quality resources for the deaf community in all aspects of their lives.

The NAD also administers the federally funded Captioned Media Program (CMP,  The mission of CMP is “to provide all persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, awareness of and equal access to communication and learning through the use of captioned educational media and supportive collateral materials.”  

The NAD conducts workshops and training sessions across the nation on a variety of issues including public policy, community empowerment, and activism.  The NAD also collaborates with the Gallaudet Leadership Institute (GLI) annually to offer "Consumer, Family, and Community Advocacy," a one-week training session for deaf and hard of hearing consumers and parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and works with many cross disability groups on common issues.

Through its Youth Programs, the NAD develops scholarship, citizenship, and leadership qualities in its participants in programs designed to foster leadership and teamwork skills.  Individuals have the opportunity to acquire and develop their knowledge, social interaction, and leadership skills through hands-on activities.

Submitted by Kelby Brick, NAD Director of Law and Advocacy (

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Web Site:

The mission of the American Library Association (ALA) is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."  Its membership is open to “any person, library, or other organization interested in library service and librarianship … upon payment of the dues provided for in the Bylaws.” 

The ALA is home to eleven membership divisions, each focused on a type of library or type of library function. The ALA has a policy on Library Services to People with Disabilities to facilitate communication among ALA units, affiliated groups and members on Accessibility. The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, one of the 11 membership divisions, is home to Library Service to People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Forum.

A network of affiliates, chapters and other organizations enables the ALA to reach a broad audience.  Headquartered in Chicago, ALA was founded in 1876 in Philadelphia and subsequently charted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ALA's Washington Office, established in 1945, has two new offices: (1) Government Relations, which acts as a link between ALA members and the federal government, representing library interests and issues including funding for federal library and related programs, copyright, access to government information, and other issues which affect the quality of library and information services available to the American public; and (2) Information Technology Policy, which promotes the development and use of electronic access to information as a means to ensure the public’s right to a free and open information society.

The main office at ALA that focuses on advocacy is the Public Information Office (PIO) based in ALA’s Chicago headquarters.  PIO assists libraries with advocacy strategies, provides advocacy related resources and materials, and maintains an advocacy network.   Several ALA offices, units and divisions work in conjunction with PIO to facilitate advocacy and outreach at the local, state, and federal levels.  For example, ALA’s Washington Office of Government Relations, maintains the Federal Library Legislative and Advocacy Network “FLLAN.”  FLLAN is a network of librarians in the 50 states who communicate with Congress about federal legislation that impacts libraries. For more information about advocacy and outreach visit the ALA website at:

Submitted by Erin Haggerty, Government Relations Specialist, ALA- Washington Office ( )

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1)  Who should take the charge of the program in your area?
We suggest finding an internal advocate within your own library system. This person has to have some passion about the subject or it will die right then and there.
Next step would be to form a committee--whatever size--with the goal of promoting Deaf Awareness. A further step would be to contact any organization in that library’s region that would be a natural partner in promoting Deaf Services: Head Start, Mental Health Organization, Academic Institutions with Deaf Studies/ASL Programs and others. Public schools may not be a good idea since they do not have time to allow staff to work in outside committees.  We recommend keeping the committee SMALL. Five is plenty; otherwise, they may not be able to keep the group on task.

2) Budget Needs

a)   For committee support: Photocopies, auxiliary aids and services at meetings if needed, postage, and others

b)   For programs: Room rental, refreshments, technology, communication assistance, auxiliary aids, honorarium fees, posters and others

c)   For publishing: Desktop publishing, graphic art work, Braille transcription, and others 

3) Funding

We suggest; designating part of the program budget that already exists. Advocates for the library system may attend the program committee meeting and bring suggestions for Deaf Awareness topics. And if the library does not have a program committee, we suggest they write up a proposal to whoever makes that decision. Funding can come from donations and other resources besides grants and fund-raising.

4) Program theme
National: Celebrate Deaf Legacy
State & Local:   The committee may want to add slogan to go with the national theme or fold the celebration into an ongoing theme the library is currently promoting.

5) Target date
March 13-April 15 annually    
6) Target audience
Deaf Community
7) Program site and accessibility
Whenever possible, the building should be in a location people can reach by public transportation and have a ramp, directional signs and the staff already trained in serving people with disabilities or those who have language barriers. It would be best if in the meeting room there would be a raised platform and not have a window or light source behind the speaker. If the speakers use sign language and some people in the audience do not know sign language, it would be advisable to know what communication technologies are available in the community that is served by the library.  Two examples of communication technologies are Sign Language / Voice Interpreters and CART in which services may be provided by a local agency.   
CART or Communication Access Real time Translation is one type of interpretation. CART provides visual text with nearly instantaneous translation of the spoken word. The CART provider types the speaker’s words on a stenographic machine which is connected to a computer with software to translate the stenographic code into English. The translation can then be read on the computer screen; for larger group events the CART text can be displayed on a large video screen or projected onto the wall. 
Source: Planning for Library Services to People With Disabilities, by Rhea Joyce Rubin Chicago: ALA/ASCLA, 2001

8) Presenters
Presenters may be guest speakers, lecturers, storytellers, and/or performing artists, either in person or on video.

Checklist:  Biography and photo; Presentation Topic, Technical assistance needed for presentation and honorarium fees   If videos are used, please make sure they are of high quality.  For video reviews, please visit   
9) Exhibitions

a) Libraries to display a collection of books, videos, and other library materials that are related to the language, culture and history of the deaf community in a prominent place, encouraging customers to check out those that are circulating.

b)  Libraries may set up a schedule to demonstrate ASL videos as part of the exhibit, encouraging customers to check out those that are circulating. Examples of videos and their reviews can be found on the ASL Access Web Site

10) Program promotional resources

a) Public media (e.g., TV, newspapers, library networks)

b) Eye-catching Deaf History Month posters you may design on your own   

c) Handouts, such as a list of fiction books having deaf characters for children and young adults, Deaf American History Trivia, Notable Deaf Quotes and others

11) Proclamation for Governors, County Executives, and Mayors

Statements from the National Deaf History Month Resolution may be adapted to fit in the interest of local populations. Notable pioneers from the deaf community and historical deaf events on state or local level may be highlighted in the proclamation
12) Follow Up
We would love to hear the results of your program, of whatever size, so please email them to   Thank you!

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1. Deaf Professional Services

Services listed below have bibliographies, products, programs, and/or services that may be helpful to the nation’s libraries in their programming and/or exhibiting plans for observing the month.
ASL Access
    Contact Chris Eixtrom, founder and CEO

    Web Site

Captioned Media Program of the National Association of the Deaf
    Contact Bill Stark, Project Director
    Web Site:

Gallaudet University Library
    Contact Tom Harrington, Librarian

    Web Site:

Rochester Institute of Technology / Wallace Memorial Library / National Institute of the Deaf / Deaf Studies
    Contact Joan Naturale, Librarian

    Web Site:

2. Library Membership Organizations
American Library Association (ALA) Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) / Libraries Serving Special Populations Section (LSSPS) / Library Service to People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Forum (LSDHHF)
    Web Site

The LSDHHF offers outline bibliographies. Members have compiled the following bibliographies and others for librarians who are seeking information on services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: (1) Communication Issues; (2) Publishers and Vendors of Books; (3) Videos and CD-ROMs; (4) Collection Recommendations; (5) Books with Deaf Characters or by Deaf Authors; and (6) Gallaudet University Library Deaf Related Resources.

The LSDHHF mission is to promote library and information service to deaf persons by: fostering deaf awareness in the library community and in the deaf and hearing populations at large; monitoring and publicizing legislation and funding developments related to library and information services for deaf persons; encouraging employment and career opportunities for deaf persons in libraries, and encouraging their participation in the American Library Association; stimulating the production, distribution, and collection of materials in formats that are readily accessible to deaf persons and that accurately portray deaf persons; and developing and operating a clearinghouse of information on services for deaf persons to assist libraries in collection development and programming. These functions shall be carried out in cooperation with other ALA units and national organizations, as appropriate.

3. Annual Deaf-related events
The library community may also use this KIT for observing other deaf annual events beside the National Deaf History Month during the year. Use the name of the annual event as the keyword when surfing the Internet.  

The dates list here reflect the 2006 edition of The Red Notebook.   Annually assigned dates for these events are listed in the "Crossroads" section.
Inventor’s Day: February 11
To observe the birth anniversary of Thomas Alva Edison, an inventor with 1,093 patents  His deafness was actually an asset as he once said it allowed him to work with less distraction and to sleep deeply, undistributed by outside sounds
National Deaf History Month: March 13-April 15 
To commemorate the three most important deaf cultural dates in American history
March 13, 1988: The victory of the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University located in Washington, D.C. when the first deaf person was selected to become president of this 124-year-ole institution

April 8, 1864: Charter signed by the President Abraham Lincoln, authorizing the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution (now Gallaudet University) to grant college degree to deaf students

April 15, 1817: First permanent school founded for deaf students in the Western Hemisphere, now known as the American School for the Deaf
Mother, Father Deaf Day: April 30, 2006
To give members of Children of Deaf Adults, known as CODA, the opportunity to honor their deaf parents and to recognize the gifts of culture and language they received
Better Hearing and Speech Month: May
To raise public understanding about hearing, voice, speech, and language disorders, and recognize speech and hearing professionals for the important work they do
National Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week: June 25-July 1, 2006
To observe the birth anniversary of Helen Keller who was born on June 27 in 1880 and to enhance public awareness about deaf-blind people’s needs for full participation in society
Deaf Awareness Week: September 24-30, 2006
    To celebrate the culture, heritage, and language unique to deaf Americans
International Week of the Deaf: September 24-30, 2006
To promote public awareness in local communities to strengthen solidarity among deaf people and to call attention to concerns important to deaf people
Clerc-Gallaudet Week: December 3-9, 2006
To celebrate birth anniversaries of the two pioneers in deaf education who were born in the month of December – Laurent Clerc on December 26, 1785 and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on December 10, 1787 – and to recognize their impact on American society since the 19th century

4. Notable Deaf Pioneers: A Selection

Their profiles may be located on the Internet or in books or other resources at your library. The American School for the Deaf Museum,, the Gallaudet University Archives,, and the Gallaudet University Library Guide to Deaf Biographies,, are also good sources.
Edmund Booth   Born August 24, 1810   Died March 29, 1903
Author, newspaper publisher, pioneer settler, teacher and one of three co-founders of the National Association of the Deaf
Thomas Brown   Born February 25, 1804   Died March 23, 1886
First deaf American grassroots leader and who planted the seed for the National Association of the Deaf. 
John Carlin   Born June 15, 1813   Died April 23, 1891
Artist, writer and advocate who contributed greatly to the cultural life of the deaf community in the 19th century
Laurent Clerc   Born December 26, 1785   Died July 18, 1869 *
First deaf teacher, school administrator and one of the three co-founders of the first school for deaf students in the Western Hemisphere 
Thomas Alva Edison   Born February 11, 1847   Died October 18, 1931
Inventor and scientist who received 1,093 patents and who said his deafness helped him concentrate on his experiments and research
Andrew Jackson Foster   Born June 27, 1925   Died December 3, 1987
American educator who founded thirty-one schools and many other programs for deaf people in thirteen African countries
Sophia Fowler Gallaudet   Born March 20, 1798   Died May 13, 1877
Influential advocate to the US Congress on behalf of education of deaf people in the 1860s and who was known as “Queen of the Deaf Community”
William Ellsworth Hoy   Born May 23, 1862   Died December 15, 1961
First deaf major-leaguer who taught his teammates signs which some have become useful for umpires throughout the world
Helen Adams Keller   Born June 27, 1880   Died June 1, 1968 
First deaf-blind author and lecturer who received many honors for her global advocacy on human rights
Juliette Gordon Low   Born October 31, 1860   Died January 18, 1927
Founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA and who once said she used her deafness to benefit the cause
David Peikoff  Born March 21, 1900  Died January 28, 1995
Dynamic leader who was known to hold the office of many deaf organizations and for his remarkable career in fundraising
Laura Redden Searing   Born February 9, 1840   Died August 10, 1923*
Newspaper correspondent who once interviewed President Lincoln, Civil War generals and soldiers using pad and pencil
* Birth year for Clerc & day of death for Searing corrected March 20, 2006
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        Adult Programming: A Manual for Libraries a publication of Reference and User Services Association division of the American Library Association, 1997

        Chase’s Calendar of Event.   New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005 (updated annually)

        Eriksson, Per. The history of deaf people: a source book. ěrebro, Sweden: Daufr, 1993. ISBN: 9163068222 (casebd).

        Functions and Roles of State Library Agencies.   Compiled by Ethel E. Himmel, Ethel E. and William J. Wilson. Edited by GraceAnne A. DeCandido.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2000.  (In cooperation with the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Services and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies)  

        Gay, Kathlyn.  Cultural Diversity: Conflicts and Challenges.   Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2003   (The Ultimate Teen Guide)

        Guidelines for Library and Information Services for the American Deaf Community.  Edited by Marti Goddard, Chicago: Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies, 1996.

        Kuharets, Olgar, Editor.  Ventures Into Cultures: a Resource Book of Multicultural Materials and Programs.  Second edition.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2001

        Lang, Harry G. and Bonnie Meath-Lang.  Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary.  Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1995.

        Macmillan, Kathy.  Try Your Hand At This: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs.  Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.  2006

From how to set up sign language programming for all ages to dealing with interpreters, publicizing programming to the public and the deaf community, and evaluating and improving the library’s sign language collection

        Matthew, Kathryn I. and Joy L. Lowe.  Guide to Celebrations and Holidays Around the World: The Best Books, Media, and Multicultural Learning Activities.  New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. , 2004

        Robertson, Deborah with the Public Programs Office of the American Library Association.  Cultural Programming for Libraries: Linking Libraries, Communities & Culture. Chicago, ALA, 2005. 

Rubin, Rhea Joyce.  Planning for Library Services to People with Disabilities.

        ASCLA Changing Horizons Series, Number 5. Chicago: Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (a division of) American Library Association, 2001

        Trawicky, Bernard. Anniversaries and Holidays. Fifth Edition. Chicago: American Library Association, 2000.

        World Almanac and Book of Facts: 2005

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For purposes of this KIT, we use the following definitions:
American Sign Language or ASL  
        A visual- gestural language having its own rules of grammar and is mostly used by deaf people in the United States and Canada.

ASL Community
       This term consists of signing individuals of all ages, regardless of their hearing status, who share one common characteristic of deaf culture.

        Partially or completely lacking in the sense of hearing 
        Partially or completely lacking in the sense of either or both hearing and seeing

Deaf and Hard of Hearing 
        This term is often used by government agencies and advocacy groups to imply their commitment to serving both groups of deaf and hard of hearing consumers and/or members

Deaf Community
        This term consists of individuals with varying communication modes and backgrounds, both deaf and hearing, who share common characteristics of hearing losses and/or deaf culture
Deaf Culture
        The shared arts, customs, folklore, history, traditions, and values that are connected to some members of the deaf community 
Deaf Cultural Programming
        Programs or series of programs presented by libraries that seek to entertain, enlighten, educate, and involve adult and family audiences, primarily in the disciplines of the deaf arts and deaf community issues
Deaf Diversity
        Differences in age, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, and/or lifestyle of people who share common characteristics of hearing losses and/or deaf culture
        Also refers to Deaf Interest Groups
Deaf Heritage  
        A deaf cultural tradition that passes from one generation to the next in a social group

Deaf History  
        A narrative of events and life of a people, an institution, or a place concerning the deaf community of the past to the present  
Deaf Interest Groups 
        The following groups are associated with the deaf community, including hearing individuals; each group may include those who are blind and/or have cerebral palsy, physical, learning or life-functioning challenges or others.
        Children; Young adults; Post-secondary students; Older adults; Members of diverse ethnic groups; Members of various religious traditions; Rural populations; Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals; Homeless and transient people; Prisoners; People at work; People at leisure; People in need of health care; People recovering from various kinds of abuse and others.

Deaf-Related Organizations
        Nonprofit, for profit, government-supported programs, public services and social groups, all having at least one specialization for meeting the needs of one or more deaf interest groups, regardless of their communication modes
        This term is often used by government agencies and advocacy groups to imply their commitment to serving cross-disability populations, including deaf and hard of hearing, ensuring their rights to be treated as people first for full participation in the democratic process as contributing members of the society
Accepted terminology about disabilities changes regularly over years but the primary rule is to put people first. (E.g. people with disabilities not disabled people)
Finger spelling or the manual alphabet:
        A method of representing the letters of the alphabet with the hand  
There are different manual alphabets used to code different languages. The one-handed American Manual alphabet is a code for English orthography. A two-handed manual alphabet is used mostly in Britain and former British colonies.
Grassroots community
        This term consists of people--deaf and hearing--at a local level instead of the political center regardless of their economical and educational backgrounds
Hard of Hearing  
        This term applies to a culture of people with hearing losses, ranging from mild to profound, but not total. Some have a connection with the deaf culture.    
        Deaf people use this term to identify a culture of people who can hear whether or not they are associated with the deaf community
Hearing Loss 
        This term applies to people of all ages who live through it, ranging from mild to profound.
Late-Deafened adult
        An adult who acquires hearing loss after acquiring speech and experiences a significant life change as a result
Library community
        This term consists of librarians, library workers, trustees, friends, supporters and customers, deaf and hearing, who have a connection with academic, public, school and/or special libraries. Some organizations, such as government offices, museums, businesses, and nonprofit organizations, own a special collection related to the deaf community or have a library with trained personnel.   
        A person who uses sign language and manual alphabet to communicate with other signing people 

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American Library Association for using its logo --  @ your library

Anita Farb, Director of Outreach and Communication at the NAD for editing the final KIT
Kelby Brick, Director of Law and Advocacy at the NAD for submitting data about the advocacy program at the NAD

Erin Haggerty, Government Relations Specialist of the ALA Washington Office for submitting data about the advocacy program at the ALA

Amy Bopp, President of Library Friends Section of the NAD for her encouragement in our work on the KIT making certain of its usefulness for libraries and their friends

Deborah Gilson, a FOLDA associate, for her valuable input on certain topics in the KIT to assure of their meaningful message to KIT users who may not be familiar with ASL.

Larry David Kent, a FOLDA associate and computer expertise, for his advice whenever we need it in our work progress on the KIT   

Lisa Fisher, FOLDA Webmaster for adding the KIT to the FOLDA Web Site 

American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut for the permission to include in the KIT the image of Laurent Clerc

Individuals and organizations for their monetary and in-kind gifts contributions to FOLDA to help with its expenses needed to publicize The KIT and other work progress of the NAD AD Hoc Committee at deaf and library conferences in 2005 and 2006. 

Lastly, but not the least, all users of the KIT for taking an interest in our effort to work with the nation’s libraries for reaching out to all Americans in 2006 and beyond

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Alice L. Hagemeyer, MLS
Deaf Cultural Programming Consultant, Library for Deaf Action 
Last Job: District of Columbia Public Library, Librarian for the Deaf Community, April 1, 1976 until early retirement in December 1991
Founded Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action (FOLDA) in 1986, now a public service of Library for Deaf Action, has written and spoken extensively about the deaf community, its history and the library in the United States, Canada and Australia 
Professional membership: American Library Association (with specific interests in public libraries, diversity issues, and advocacy), District of Columbia Library Association, Deaf History International, Inc.
National Literary Society of the Deaf, Coordinator of Deaf Cultural Programs in the Metropolitan Washington area, National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month, Chair

Thomas R. Harrington, MLIS
Reference and Instruction Librarian (specialist in deaf research), Gallaudet University Library, Washington, DC, since 1993; formerly Media Librarian, 1973-1993
Academic reference services in all fields but especially deafness and deaf people; bibliographic instruction; produce information guides, FAQs, and finding aids for deaf information; collection development in deafness, deaf people, deaf studies, audiology, linguistics, and related fields; writer of several professional articles and presentations and a regular column in the areas of materials on deafness and library services to the deaf; creator of two large online databases of deaf-related information.
Member, American Library Association, ASCLA LSSPS Library Service to People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Forum; National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month; Deaf History International, FOLDA Associate.
Web site:

Joan Naturale, M.Ed, MLS
Reference Librarian at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Wallace Memorial Library, National Technical Institute of the Deaf since July 1999
Teach bibliographic instruction in classes, provide faculty and staff support for research, create deaf studies and liberal arts, support guides, create and updating WebPages, and conduct outreach activities related to library activities
Professional Membership: American Library Association (with special interests in Diversity Issues, Outreach Services and Library Services to People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Forum); National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month, FOLDA Associate
Web Site
Email:  IM via AOL, MSN, Yahoo and Google ntidlibrarian

Abigail Noland, MLS, M.Div.  

Director of the Preble County District Library, Eaton, Ohio (appointed November 1, 2005)
Former Branch Manager, Coventry Village Library in Cleveland Heights, Ohio,
Advocate for people with disabilities, has written and spoken extensively on the topic in the Cleveland Area and is accomplished in American Sign Language
Professional Membership: American Library Association, Ohio Library Council Diversity Committee, Miami Valley Library Association, Ohio School for the Deaf Summer Reading Committee
National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month member and FOLDA Associate
Web Site

Gary E. Wait, A.B. and S.T.B.
Archivist and Curator of the Museum at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) since 2000  Former Head Catalogue Librarian; Collections Manager at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford and Consultant on Deaf history and culture at the ASD.  
Earned 50 additional graduate level hours in American history and culture at Boston University Graduate School  Author of nine articles;  the last two got published in 2005:” The Mother School of Deaf Education” Hog River Journal: Hartford and the Region’s Magazine of History and “A Deaf Heritage Celebration” in NADmag, the publication of the National Association of the Deaf.
National Association of the Deaf Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month member and FOLDA associate
Web Site

Andrew J. Lange, NAD President and Liaison for the Ad Hoc Committee on National Deaf History Month 
Web Site

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Laurent Clerc
Laurent Clerc
Image of Laurent Clerc.
Reprinted with permission by the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut
Web Site:    

Click here to download and print Clerc poster as PDF file.

Click here for Theme Statement poster for National Deaf History Month:
"Celebrate Deaf Legacy @ your library"

January 2006

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