Deaf President Now Research Paper

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Extended Essay Draft History Elisabeth Durgan May 2015 Thesis: “To what extent did the ‘Deaf President Now’ movement and subsequent Gallaudet University protest affect the Deaf community in America?” Introduction The Deaf community can be described as being a relatively private community, consisting of many people with various ranges of hearing loss. Like any culture, the deaf have their own community, culture, language, and essentially a separate world from the ‘hearing world’ as commonly referred to by deaf people. One of the most iconic deaf institutions in America is Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.; this establishment attracts not only deaf students in America but also internationally. Gallaudet also caters to the needs of deaf children during primary and secondary education with their…show more content…
For 124 years prior to the Gallaudet University protest in 1988 the university had been guided by a hearing president and a predominately hearing Board of Trustees. This caused dysfunction between the administration and the student body. Both the president and the Board of Trustee members had to take a compulsory Deaf culture class, however the student body felt that their needs were not understood and thus not addressed appropriately. This conflict was the basis of the Deaf President Now movement, the movement believed that to be fully understood they needed a leader who is in the same position as them. The movement argued that if minorities such as African Americans and Jewish people had their own universities that were represented by people of the minority then Deaf people should be able to also. The Deaf President Now movement started as a humble protest that simply focused on having a deaf person as the president into a movement that was able to convince the world that “deaf people could band together effectively for a common cause and succeed.” . The Deaf President Now movement

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