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National Deaf History Month

Celebrate Deaf History Literacy and Legacy

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What Is Deaf History Month
Deaf History Month covers the period of March 13 to April 15. It celebrates deaf history, particularly key events in deaf heritage.

Deaf History Month appears to have had its genesis March 13, 1997, when the D.C. Public Library had a Deaf History Month event with deaf authors and guest speakers. The popularity of Deaf History Month grew over time, and there is currently an effort under way by the American Library Association and the National Association of the Deaf to get the White House to declare it an official national event.
Key Historic Events:
March 13 - 1988 Deaf President Now movement succeeds. King Jordan becomes president of Gallaudet University.

April 8 - Gallaudet University founded. President Lincoln signed the charter in 1864 establishing a college for the deaf. This event is known as Gallaudet Charter Day, and is usually marked with a luncheon and awards program at Gallaudet University.

April 15 - American School for the Deaf, the first public school for deaf, opens in 1817.
How does IIDS celebrate Deaf History Month?:
Celebrate Deaf History Literacy and Legacy

Purpose: To reach out to the diverse Deaf community, increasing their awareness of the rich history of the deaf and of the various library resources that will benefit the public - deaf and hearing. By observing National Deaf History Month, IIDS offers an occasion to celebrate the legacy and many contributions made by people who share the personal, familial or societal deaf experience, as well as instilling in young deaf/hard of hearing students their own legacy and self-worth.

IIDS sponsors an annual essay writing and art contest for students around the country. Essays should be written and art work should be created about Deaf individuals or events that have made significant contributions to the advancement of society, deafness, or the betterment of life in general.

The purpose of this essay writing/art contest is to broaden appreciation of reading and research and deepen an appreciation for art while encouraging the national deaf community to share experiences, learn and respect the heritage and culture of the community, and to recognize that being deaf does not limit individuals from achieving greatness.

The International Institute of Deaf Services desires to promote deaf culture, art, books, and literacy by encouraging students to utilize their libraries as well as internet resources to research the accomplishments of deaf individuals and historical deaf events. Artwork and essays are judged by a panel of judges and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners are chosen and awarded prizes in each category. Winning essays and artwork will be posted on the IIDS website.

Essays are collected from March 13 – April 1, 2013. The winners will be selected and announced on April 15, 2013.

For more information about the essay writing contest, stayed tuned to this website. Guidelines for the contest will be posted by February 1, 2013.
Links about Deaf History:
Click here to download Registration Form
Click here to download event flyer
Click here to download Contest Guidelines
Click here to download Event Speakers